The rate of release of caffeine from capsules of guarana was compared with that from capsules containing an equivalent amount of caffeine using the British Pharmacopoeia dissolution test apparatus. Determinations were carried out in media of pH 2 and 6.8 and caffeine concentrations in the dissolution fluid were determined by HPLC. No significant differences in release rates were found between the two preparations at either pH. The rate of absorption of caffeine across rat intestine using the everted gut was also compared for a guarana suspension and a solution containing an equivalent amount of caffeine. Experiments were carried out using fluids of pH 4.0 and 7.4. No significant differences in absorption between the two preparations were observed. These results show that the release and uptake of caffeine from guarana is the same as for preparations containing free caffeine.