Seven patients with acute or chronic renal failure who were receiving intermittent peritoneal dialysis and who required parenteral oxacillin, ampicillin or tetracycline were studied to determine the disposition of these antibiotics in severe renal disease and the effects of peritoneal dialysis. While severe renal impairment markedly prolongs persistence in the serum of ampicillin and tetracycline, there is little effect on oxacillin. Whereas required doses of ampicillin and tetracycline are lower in the presence of severe renal disease, oxacillin should be given in doses equivalent to those used for patients with normal renal function. Peritoneal dialysis does not alter these dosage requirements.Four patients receiving ampicillin or tetracycline in the infusing solution during peritoneal dialysis were studied to determine the amount of systemic absorption. Local prophylaxis alone is not achieved with this method of administration, since small amounts of both antibiotics are absorbed systemically from the infusing solution. The serum concentration of tetracycline attained is inadequate for treatment of systemic infections but is probably significant, with repeated use in intermittent dialysis, in causing adverse effects. Tetracycline should be abandoned in the local prophylaxis of peritonitis during peritoneal dialysis.