Chlormezanone binds to oxidized cytochrome P450 in rat liver microsomes with a binding curve according to type I like hexobarbital but less pronounced and with a general shift to the left. Ethylmorphine N-demethylation, ethoxycoumarin and ethoxyresorufin O-deethylation are inhibited by chlormezanone in mM concentrations only whereas pentoxyreosorufin O-depentylation is inhibited by about 50% in μM concentrations. Luminol and lucigenin amplified chemiluminescence indicating the formation of reactive oxygen species was not influenced in concentration ranges between mM and μM, whereas NADPH/Fe stimulated lipid peroxidation showed a tendency of inhibition. But scavenger activity could not be demonstrated: the zymosan stimulated chemiluminescence of whole blood was not influenced significantly. The degradation process of chlormezanone was elucidated. The first step involves ring opening by chemical hydrolysis with subsequent formation of an unstable acyhalfaminal which is the source of 4-chlorobenzaldehyde. This aldehyde undergoes enzymatically controlled oxidation to 4-chlorobenzoic acid which is the parent compound of following phase II reactions. The second degradation product is 2-carboxyethane-sulfinic-acid-N-methylamide, which is hydrolyzed very quickly. Neither oxidation of the sulfinic acid or its N-nethylamide derivative could be observed nor N-demethylation of chlormezanone.