Previous studies have shown that aspirin interacts with orally administered diclofenac sodium, causing reduced peak concentrations, lower levels and decreased areas under curves. In this study, diclofenac sodium was administered orally and intravenously with and without aspirin, to 6 healthy female volunteers. After intravenous dosing both plasma levels and areas under curves were significantly reduced although none of the rate constants was affected. The volume of distribution of diclofenac was increased as was the plasma clearance. Oral administration with aspirin also resulted in lower plasma levels, particularly peak levels, and areas under curves. Comparison of AUC's for both modes of administration with and without aspirin suggested that lower levels after oral administration were not due to impaired absorption. These observations are best explained by decreased protein binding and increased biliary excretion of diclofenac in the presence of salicylate.