1. The metabolism of loxtidine (1-methyl-5-[3-[3-[(1-piperidinyl) methyl] phenoxy] propyl] amino-1H-1,2,4-triazole-3-methanol) was studied in freshly isolated rat, dog and human hepatocytes. Metabolism in vitro was comparable with previously available in vivo data in all three species with the marked species differences observed in vivo being reproduced in the hepatocyte model. 2. The major route for the metabolism of loxtidine by rat hepatocytes was N-dealkylation to form the propionic acid and hydroxymethyl triazole metabolites. A minor metabolic route was the oxidation of loxtidine to a carboxylic acid metabolite. The major route of metabolism for loxtidine in dog hepatocytes was glucuronidation with oxidation to the carboxylic acid metabolite being of minor importance. Incubation of loxtidine with human hepatocytes resulted in the drug remaining largely unchanged but with the carboxylic acid metabolite being produced in minor amounts. 3. In vitro studies were undertaken with rat, dog and human hepatocytes to determine the Michaelis-Menten parameters Vmax and Km for the sum of all the metabolic pathways. These kinetic parameters were used to calculate the intrinsic clearance of loxtidine. Using appropriate scaling factors, the predicted in vivo hepatic clearance was then calculated. The predicted intrinsic clearances were 51.4 +/- 12.4, 8.0 +/- 0.8 and 1.0 +/- 0.6 ml/min/kg for rat, dog and human hepatocytes respectively. These data were then used to calculate hepatic clearances of 24.5, 3.1 and 0.2 ml/min/kg for rat, dog and man respectively. 4. In vivo hepatic and intrinsic clearances for loxtidine were determined in rat, dog and human volunteers. The hepatic clearances of loxtidine were 26.6, 6.6 and 0.4 ml/min/kg in rat, dog and man respectively and intrinsic clearances were 58.5, 18.6 and 2.0 ml/min/kg in rat, dog and man respectively. 5. The present studies demonstrate that the hepatocyte model may be a valuable in vitro tool for predicting both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the metabolism of a drug in animals and man at an early stage of the drug development process.