The present study was designed to investigate the influence of acute ethanol intake and its withdrawal on the anticonvulsant effect of alpha-tocopherol in penicillin-induced epileptiform activity. Ethanol-treated rats received a daily dose of 3 g/kg or 9.0 g/kg of 30% ethanol solution for 3 days. Thirty minutes after penicillin injection (500 units, i.c.), the most effective dose of alpha-tocopherol (500 mg/kg) was administered intramuscularly (i.m.). Acute administration of ethanol, in a dose of 3 g/kg, did not change either frequency or amplitude of penicillin-induced epileptiform activity, while dose of 9 g/kg ethanol significantly decreased the mean frequency of penicillin-induced epileptiform ECoG activity in the ethanol-treated group. Ethanol (9 g/kg) withdrawal also caused an increase in the amplitude of epileptiform ECoG activity in the withdrawal group. The results suggest that acute administration of high dose ethanol (9 g/kg) and alpha-tocopherol have some limited anticonvulsive effects in penicillin-induced epileptiform activity in rats.