Ethanol, at physiologically tolerable concentrations, inhibits platelet responses to low concentrations of collagen or thrombin, but does not inhibit responses of washed rabbit platelets stimulated with high concentrations of ADP, collagen, or thrombin. However, when platelet responses to high concentrations of collagen or thrombin had been partially inhibited by prostacyclin (PGI2), ethanol had additional inhibitory effects on aggregation and secretion. These effects were also observed with aspirin- treated platelets stimulated with thrombin. Ethanol had no further inhibitory effect on aggregation of platelets stimulated with ADP, or the combination of ADP and epinephrine. Thus, the inhibitory effects of ethanol on platelet responses in the presence of PGI2 were very similar to its inhibitory effects in the absence of PGI2, when platelets were stimulated with lower concentrations of collagen or thrombin. Ethanol did not appear to exert its inhibitory effects by increasing cyclic AMP above basal levels and the additional inhibitory effects of ethanol in the presence of PGI2 did not appear to be brought about by further increases in platelet cyclic AMP levels.