The effect of food on the bioavailability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of oral torsemide was examined in a group of 14 healthy male volunteers. Administration of torsemide with a standard high-fat, high-carbohydrate breakfast resulted in a decrease in absorption rate (fed: C(max) 988 plus minus 269 ng ml(minus sign1), T(max) 1.50 plus minus 0.64 h; fasting: C(max) 1466 plus minus 202 ng ml(minus sign1), T(max) 0.89 plus minus 0.37 h) but no change in the extent of absorption (fed: AUC 3424 plus minus 841 h ng ml(minus sign1); fasting: AUC 3357 plus minus 859 h ng ml(minus sign1)) or the amount of drug excreted unchanged (fed: % dose 23.5 plus minus 4.3; fasting: % dose 23.7 plus minus 6.2). Elimination half-life and renal clearance were unchanged. These minor alterations in the pharmacokinetics of the drug were not reflected by a change in either the pharmacodynamic relationship between urinary sodium and drug excretion rates or the cumulative amount of electrolytes and urine excreted. The diuretic effect of torsemide will be consistent regardless of drug administration relative to food intake.