Twelve healthy volunteers were given orally placebo, itraconazole 100 mg or terbinafine 250 mg for 4 days. Midazolam 7.5 mg was ingested on the fourth day, after which plasma samples were collected and psychomotor performance tests carried out for 17 h. Itraconazole increased the area under the midazolam concentration-time curve six-fold (P < 0.001), the peak concentration 2.5-fold (P < 0.001) and the elimination half-life two-fold (P < 0.001) compared with placebo and terbinafine pretreatments. The pharmacokinetic parameters did not differ between placebo and terbinafine phases. The higher concentrations of midazolam during the itraconazole phase were associated with increased effects. In contrast to itraconazole, terbinafine had no effect on midazolam pharmacokinetics and psychomotor performance tests were unchanged from placebo.