The effects of grapefruit juice (150 ml at -15, -10, -1/4, +5, and +10 hours) and cimetidine (200 mg at the same times) on the stereoselective pharmacokinetics and effects of 20 mg oral racemic nitrendipine were investigated in a placebo-controlled crossover study in nine healthy men. In all subjects the AUC of racemic nitrendipine was increased by grapefruit juice (mean increase 106%; 95% confidence interval 64% to 158%) and cimetidine treatment (+154%; 95% confidence interval 77% to 265%). Comparable results were obtained for the peak plasma drug concentration and for both parameters of (S)- and (R)-nitrendipine. There were highly significant differences in the area under the concentration-time curve and peak plasma drug concentration between enantiomers within all treatments. Grapefruit juice had no effect on this stereoselectivity, but cimetidine increased the mean S/R ratio of areas under the curve (2.25) by 20% (95% confidence interval 12% to 29%) compared with placebo treatment (1.89). Half-lives and time to reach peak concentration of the enantiomers were not different within and between treatments. There were no consistent effects on blood pressure with all treatments, but in most subjects there was a small temporary increase in heart rate after intake of nitrendipine. Grapefruit juice and cimetidine did not affect these hemodynamic parameters and did not cause additional adverse effects.