Noscapine was administered to five healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover design, as an intravenous infusion of 66 mg, and as an oral 150 mg dose of either rapidly dissolving tablets or a tablet containing ion exchange resin-bound noscapine. After i.v. administration, the disposition of noscapine was bi-exponential with an elimination half-life of 2.6 h; the total plasma clearance was 22 ml/min/kg and the volume of distribution (Vdarea) was 4.7 l/kg. The absolute oral bioavailability was 30%, with a 3.6-fold interindividual variation. There was no pharmacokinetic evidence to support a prolonged action of the ion exchange resin tablet.