Chlorpromazine (CPZ) concentrations of 5 x 10(-5)M or greater were found to disrupt lens electrolyte and water balance significantly. Lens sodium and calcium levels increased while potassium decreased. These changes were accompanied by water accumulation. Such effects of CPZ were not dependent upon exposure to ultraviolet light. Electrical measurements revealed that CPZ induced depolarization of the lens potential but little change of overall lens conductance. 86Rb efflux from the lens was unaltered by a 1 hr exposure to CPZ. The active sodium pump in the lens was inhibited by CPZ, as evidenced by a reduction in Na- K-ATPase activity.