We studied the effect of isoniazid administration on the cytochrome P4502E1-catalyzed elimination of chlorzoxazone and acetaminophen. Isoniazid, 300 mg daily, was administered for 7 days to a group of 10 volunteer slow acetylators. Acetaminophen, 500 mg, and chlorzoxazone, 750 mg, were administered on separate occasions before isoniazid, during the period of isoniazid administration, and after the discontinuation of isoniazid. Isoniazid inhibited the clearance of chlorzoxazone by 58%, as assessed from plasma data, and inhibited the formation of acetaminophen thioether metabolites (a measure of the formation of the hepatotoxin N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine and catechol oxidative metabolites of acetaminophen, as determined from their recovery in urine, by 63% and 49%, respectively. Two days after the discontinuation of isoniazid, the clearance of chlorzoxazone was increased over the value before isoniazid by 56%. Acetaminophen thioether but not catechol metabolites were increased by 56% 1 day after the discontinuation of isoniazid and had returned to the pre-isoniazid value 3 days after the discontinuation of isoniazid. We conclude that the time course of the interaction with regard to chlorzoxazone elimination and formation is compatible with an inhibition-induction effect of isoniazid on cytochrome P4502E1. The mechanism of this biphasic effect is probably induction by protein stabilization, which results in inhibition of catalytic activity while isoniazid is present.