Background/Aims: The sesquiterpene lactone Costunolide is effective against various disorders including inflammation and malignancy. The substance is effective in part by triggering suicidal death or apoptosis of tumor cells. Mechanisms involved include altered function of transcription factors and mitochondria. Erythrocytes lack nuclei and mitochondria but are – in analogy to apoptosis of nucleated cells – able to enter suicidal erythrocyte death or eryptosis, characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Triggers of eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+]i), oxidative stress and ceramide. The present study explored, whether Costunolide induces eryptosis and, if so, to shed light on the mechanisms involved. Methods: Phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface was estimated from annexin-V-binding, cell volume from forward scatter, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3-fluorescence, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation from 2’,7’-dichlorodihydrofluorescein (DCF)-dependent fluorescence, and ceramide abundance utilizing specific antibodies. Results: A 48 hours exposure of human erythrocytes to Costunolide (15 µg/ml) significantly enhanced the percentage of annexin-V-binding cells, significantly decreased forward scatter and significantly increased Fluo3-fluorescence, DCF-fluorescence, and ceramide abundance. The effect of Costunolide on annexin-V-binding was significantly blunted by removal of extracellular Ca2+. Conclusion: Costunolide triggers cell shrinkage and phospholipid scrambling of the erythrocyte cell membrane, an effect at least in part due to Ca2+ entry and paralleled by oxidative stress and ceramide formation.