Abstract The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions between midazolam and ethanol were studied in the rat in vivo. Ethanol was given as a constant rate intravenous infusion (1.85 mg/min). The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of midazolam were determined following an intravenous dose of 5 mg/kg in 15 minutes. Amplitudes in the 11.5–30 Hz (beta) frequency band of the EEG was used as a measure of the pharmacological effect. Ethanol infusion resulted in a constant plasma alcohol concentration of 0.44 ± 0.04 g/1 (Mean ± SE) and had no effect on the baseline value of the EEG effect parameter. Also the pharmacokinetics of midazolam were unchanged. However, a significant parallel shift of the midazolam concentration-EEG effect relationship to lower concentrations was observed. These findings show that there is a pharmacodynamic interaction between midazolam and ethanol in vivo.