1. The biotransformation and excretion of the antidepressant mianserin were studied after oral administration of the labelled drug to rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs and humans. Mianserin was well absorbed and almost completely metabolized in all five species. 2. Major metabolic pathways of mianserin were p-oxidation of the N-substituted aromatic ring followed by conjugation, and oxidation and demethylation of the N-methyl moiety, followed by conjugation. Direct conjugation of the N-methyl moiety was observed as a metabolic pathway specific for man. 3. Conjugated metabolites were isolated by h.p.l.c. and identified by 1H-n.m.r. and FAB spectrometry. Novel metabolites such as an N-O-glucuronide in the guinea pig and an N-sulphonate in rat and guinea pig, were identified using these techniques. A quaternary N-glucuronide was found only in man.