HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have a potential to interact with substrates of the drug-metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9). This may lead to concentration-dependent toxicity such as skeletal muscle side effects. Atorvastatin, a widely used statin, is presently inadequately investigated in vivo with regard to effects on CYP2C9 activity in human beings. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of atorvastatin on the activity of CYP2C9 in a group of Turkish hypercholesterolaemic patients. We prospectively investigated the atorvastatin effect on CYP2C9 activity in a sample of Turkish hypercholesterolaemia patients (11 women, 7 men) who commenced atorvastatin (10 mg/day). Losartan was used as a probe drug to determine CYP2C9 metabolic activity. A single 25-mg oral dose of losartan was given to the patients before, on the first day and after the fourth week of the atorvastatin treatment. Urinary concentrations of losartan and its metabolite, E3174, were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Urinary losartan/E3174 ratios were used as an index of CYP2C9 activity. As the baseline enzyme activity may influence the extent of drug-drug interactions, the CYP2C9*2 and 2C9*3 alleles were identified by using PCR-RFLP. In the patients with the CYP2C9*1*1 genotype (n = 12), atorvastatin treatment did not cause a significant change in losartan/E3174 ratios (medians; 95% CI) neither after the first day (0.73; 0.34-1.61) nor at the fourth week (0.71; 0.36-1.77) of the treatment as compared with the baseline activity (0.92; 0.57-1.74, p = 0.38). Similarly, no significant change in the baseline CYP2C9 activity (0.91; 0.30-1.60) was observed in patients with the CYP2C9*1*2 genotype as compared with those of the first day (1.08; 0.08-2.72) and fourth week (0.64; 0.0-3.82) of the atorvastatin treatment (n = 4, p = 0.86). These observations in a hypercholesterolaemic patient sample suggest that atorvastatin does not have a significant effect on enzymes encoded by the CYP2C9*1*1 and CYP2C9*1*2 genotypes when co-administered with a CYP2C9 substrate, losartan.