The kinetics of verapamil and of its N-dealkylated metabolites (norverapamil, D617, D620) were studied in six cardiac patients with normal cardiac indexes after 120 mg oral administration of the drug both as conventional preparation and as slow-release preparation. Following a dose of the slow-release preparation, the drug concentration curves were smoother and the mean bioavailability was lower in comparison with the conventional preparation. A patient taking inducing agents (phenobarbital and phenytoin) exhibited a strikingly low bioavailability. Following administration of the conventional preparation, the mean plasma half-lives of verapamil, norverapamil, D617 and D620 were 4.4, 6.6, 8.5, and 15.8 h respectively and the drug concentrations showed a triexponential decay. Urinary excretion data indicate that a saturation phenomenon may occur at level of renal tubular transport and that a competition may be suspected between D620 and the other compounds. It is concluded that various mechanisms, i.e. changes in hepatic and renal clearances, occurrence of a deep compartment, and the properties of the pharmaceutical preparation may affect verapamil kinetics during long-term treatment.