After intraperitoneal administration of salicylate in anesthetized rats and guinea pigs, we found that salicylate levels in perilymph (PL) are closely related to both drug levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in serum, with higher levels systematically observed in PL than in CSF. Further analysis suggests that salicylate is not passively transported into PL across CSF but, rather, is transported from blood directly to PL. The time course of salicylate uptake in rats reveals maximum levels at 1 1/2 hours (serum) and two to four hours (CSF and PL). On the other hand, salicylate uptake into serum and CSF of guinea pigs exhibits a longer time course, with maximum levels reached at four hours (serum) and five hours (CSF). These data, not previously available, are basic to our understanding of salicylate-related auditory effects.