Pentopril (CGS 13945) was administered in 125-mg capsules to eight healthy men on two occasions according to a randomized schedule; on one occasion in the fasting state and on the other occasion immediately following the ingestion of a standardized meal. Unlike captopril, a prototype angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor, there was no significant difference in the peak plasma concentration for either the drug or its active metabolite (CGS 13934) between the fasting and the fed states. There was also no appreciable change in the area under the plasma curve for the drug and its metabolite after administration of drug in the presence of food compared with a fasting state. There was, however, a lag time in drug absorption after ingestion of food, which resulted in a significant increase in peak time for the active metabolite in plasma. Food delays the body's absorption of the drug and hence the appearance of its active metabolite in plasma without any significant effect on the relative bioavailability. Because relative bioavailability is not affected in the presence of food, such a delay may not have any therapeutic importance on chronic administration.