In this study we have evaluated the application and reliability of using fluorescence (FLUO)-based high throughput screening assays with recombinant CYPs (rCYP). This was accomplished by screening 29 clinically important antiparasitic drugs for inhibition of the five major drug-metabolizing CYPs (-1A2, -2C9, -2C19, -2D6, and -3A4). Data from FLUO/rCYP assays were compared with that obtained by conventional HPLC assays using human liver microsomes (HLM) and rCYPs. The K(i) values showed good correlations: FLUO/rCYP and HPLC/rCYP (r(2) = 0.81), HPLC/rCYP and HPLC/HLM (r(2) = 0.82), and FLUO/rCYP and HPLC/HLM (r(2) = 0.72). Niclosamide had substrate-dependent contrasting effects on CYP2C9 activity with an apparent activation (400%) of 7-methoxy-4-trifluoromethylcoumarin demethylase activity and potent inhibition (K(i) = 6.00 microM) of diclofenac 4-hydroxylase activity. Potent inhibitors of CYP1A2 were artemisinin, dihydroartemisinin, thiabendazole, primaquine, and niclosamide (K(i) = 0.43, 3.67, 1.54, 0.22, and 2.70 microM, respectively). Proguanil, cycloguanil, amodiaquine, and desethylamodiaquine inhibited CYP2D6 (K(i) = 6.76, 5.97, 2.1, and 4.13 microM, respectively). Considering the C(max) of these drugs, artemisinin, thiabendazole, primaquine, amodiaquine, and desethylamodiaquine may cause clinically important interactions because they are predicted to inhibit 67 to 99% of the activities of the CYPs they interact with. In addition, our results suggest CYP1A2 inhibition as the mechanism behind the observed thiabendazole/theophylline and primaquine/antipyrine interactions in vivo.