Excess iron deposition in tissues leads to organ dysfunction and impairment. In this study, the protective effects of farnesol (FL), an isoprenoid, against Fe-NTA (9 mg iron/kg body weight i.p.)-induced oxidative damage and early tumour promotion markers are evaluated. The pretreatment of iron-intoxicated rats with 1% and 2%/kg body weight oral dose of FL for 7 consecutive days significantly reversed the iron-induced increase in H2O2 content (P < 0.001), malondialdehyde formation, xanthine oxidase activity (P < 0.001), ornithine decarboxylase activity (P < 0.001) and 3[H]thymidine incorporation in renal DNA (P < 0.005) with simultaneous significant depletion in serum toxicity markers blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (P < 0.001). Significant dose-dependent restoration was recorded in renal glutathione content, its dependent enzymes and other phase II metabolizing enzymes viz., catalase, glutathione-S-transferase and quinone reductase (P < 0.001) with prophylactic treatment of FL. Present results support that FL markedly lowers the oxidative damage and appearance of tumour markers, which precludes its development as a chemopreventive tool.