Thirty-three healthy male and female volunteers aged 21 to 87 years received a single 0.5 mg oral dose of triazolam. Plasma triazolam concentrations were measured in multiple samples drawn during 24 h after the dose. Mean triazolam elimination half-life was not significantly different between young and elderly men (3.0 vs 4.6 h), nor between young and elderly women (2.7 vs 3.2 h). However, apparent oral clearance of triazolam was significantly reduced in elderly as compared to young groups of both sexes, leading to higher peak plasma concentrations and increased total area under the curve. Values of half-life and clearance of antipyrine, a low-extraction hepatically oxidized compound, were poorly correlated with those of triazolam (r = 0.34 and 0.44, respectively), suggesting different mechanisms controlling age-related changes in clearance of these two hepatically oxidized drugs.