We investigated the effect of aging on hepatic pharmacokinetics and the degree of hepatotoxicity following a toxic dose of acetaminophen. Young and old male Fischer 344 rats were treated with 800 mg/kg acetaminophen (young n = 8, old n = 5) or saline (young n = 9, old n = 9). Serum measurements showed old rats treated with acetaminophen had significantly lower serum alanine aminotransferase and higher acetaminophen and acetaminophen glucuronide levels and creatinine, compared with acetaminophen treated young rats (p < .05). Immunoblotting and activity assays showed old saline-treated rats had twofold lower cytochrome P450 2E1 activity and threefold higher NAD(P)H quinone oxireductase 1 protein expression and activity than young saline-treated rats (p < .05), although Nrf2, glutathione cysteine ligase-modulatory subunit, glutathione cysteine ligase-catalytic subunit, and cytochrome P450 2E1 protein expressions were unchanged. Primary hepatocytes isolated from young rats treated with 10 mM acetaminophen had lower survival than those from old rats (52.4% ± 5.8%, young; 83.6% ± 1.7%, old, p < .05). The pharmacokinetic changes described may decrease susceptibility to acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity but may increase risk of nephrotoxicity in old age.