To establish therapeutic guidelines for the use of antibiotics in patients receiving continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), we studied the single-dose pharmacokinetics of cefazolin, tobramycin, and vancomycin given intravenously (IV) and intraperitoneally (IP) as well as cephalexin given orally. By the IV or oral route, the antibiotics exhibited half-lives similar to those described in nondialysed, functionally anephric patients. CAPD accounted for only a negligible fraction of the total body clearance when the drugs were given by the IV route. However, when given IP, the drugs were promptly absorbed and achieved therapeutic serum concentrations. The kinetic principle of superposition was applied to predict plasma concentrations after repetitive IP dosing. Therapeutic guidelines are provided.