Pharmacokinetics, bioavailability, and local tolerance (at the site of intramuscular administration) of a new formulation of teicoplanin (400 mg/3 mL) were investigated in 24 normal, healthy, male volunteers. A single dose of 6 mg/kg was administered intravenously and intramuscularly using a randomized crossover design. Volunteers and investigator were blinded as to the route of administration; placebo was administered by the other route. Blood and urine samples were collected for 21 days and were analyzed for microbiological activity. The median (range) pharmacokinetic parameters of teicoplanin following single-dose iv administration were as follows: steady-state volume of distribution of 1.6 (1.2-2.8) L/kg; total clearance of 10.2 (8.6-15.1) mL/h/kg; renal clearance of 10.0 (7.9-13.8) mL/h/kg; and terminal disposition half-life of 168 (111-278) h. Following single-dose im administration, significantly more subjects complained of pain following administration of teicoplanin (58%) compared with placebo (4%). Teicoplanin was completely absorbed with a median (range) peak serum concentration of 12.3 (6.6-37.5) micrograms/mL occurring at a median (range) time of 4.1 (0.7-6.1) h. Since the 90% confidence interval for the ratio of areas under the serum concentration-time curve falls within the range of 80 to 120%, the extent of systemic absorption of teicoplanin following im administration is equivalent to that following iv administration.