Single doses of ipratropium bromide were administered intravenously, orally and by slow inhalation to ten healthy male volunteers. The plasma level after oral administration followed a low but broad plateau persisting for several hours. After i.v. administration the kinetic parameters were: Vc = 25.9 l, V alpha = 13.1 l, V beta = 3.38 l, t1/2 alpha = 3.85 min, t1/2 beta = 98.4 min, AUC = 15.0 h.ng/ml, kel = 11.8 l/h and total clearance is 2325 ml/min. The bioavailability was 3.3% (range 0.9-6.1%) on comparing the plasma AUCs following i.v. and 20 mg oral administration. The cumulative renal excretion (0-24 h) after i.v. administration was compared with that after oral administration and inhalation. Following oral administration, the apparent systemic availability was around 2%, and after inhalation it was 6.9%. In comparison with oral placebo administration, only after i.v. administration was there a significant change in heart rate (from 63.7 to 90.2 beats/min). The systolic blood pressure rose from 115.1 to 119.6 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure from 68.3 to 78.3 mm Hg.