Our previous study reported multi-drug resistance (MDR) reversing properties of synthetic stemofoline derivatives (STFD), OH-A1, NH-B6 and NH-D6 on P-glycoprotein (P-gp) overexpressing leukaemic cells (K562/Adr); however, the mechanism was unclear. In this study, we further investigated whether the STFD reverse MDR through either the inhibition of P-gp function or expression in K562/Adr cells, or both. The P-gp functional studies showed that the STFD increased the accumulation of calcein-AM, rhodamine 123 and [14C]-doxorubicin in K562/Adr cells, while the effects have not been seen in their parental sensitive cancer cell line (K562). Further, the STFD did not alter the P-gp expression as determined by Western blotting. This study concludes that the STFD reverse MDR via the inhibition of P-gp function. The efficacy of the STFD to inhibit P-gp function followed the order: NH-B6 > OH-A1 > NH-D6. These compounds could be introduced as candidate molecules for treating cancers exhibiting P-gp-mediated MDR.