Drug resistance, be it intrinsic or acquired, is a major problem in cancer chemotherapy. In vitro, one well characterised form of resistance against many different cytotoxic drugs is caused by the MDR1 P-glycoprotein, a large plasma membrane protein that protects the cell by actively pumping substrate drugs out. Available evidence suggests that this protein may cause drug resistance in at least some clinical tumours. Drugs inhibiting the MDR1 P-glycoprotein activity are, therefore, co-administered during chemotherapy of these tumours. To predict the biological and pharmacological effects of the blocking of this protein, we have generated mice with a genetic disruption of the drug-transporting mdr1a P-glycoprotein. These mice are overall healthy, but they accumulate much higher levels of substrate drugs in the brain, and have markedly slower elimination of these drugs from the circulation. For some drugs, this leads to dramatically increased toxicity, indicating that P-glycoprotein inhibitors should be used with caution in patients.