Thirty-two healthy men and women, 23 to 78 yr old, received single 650-mg intravenous doses of acetaminophen and the drug's kinetics were determined from multiple plasma samples drawn over the next 8 to 12 hr. Acetaminophen elimination half-life averaged 2.7 hr (range, 1.9 to 4.3 hr) and was not related to age or sex. Volume of distribution (corrected for weight) was larger in men than in women (0.99 and 0.86 l/kg) and declined with age in both sexes. This probably reflects increased fat per kilogram body weight in women and in the elderly, together with incomplete distribution of this nonlipophilic drug into body fat. Acetaminophen clearance tended to decline with age in both sexes, but differences were of borderline significance. On the basis of kinetics data alone, adjustment of acetaminophen dosage for the elderly is generally not necessary.