Diltiazem is a calcium antagonist used in angina pectoris and hypertension. There is little information concerning the slow-release (SR) formulation in the literature. The pharmacokinetics of diltiazem SR (120 mg) have been assessed over a 36h period in healthy volunteers after single- (SD) and multiple-dose (MD) administrations. Cmax, AUC0-36, and AUC0-infinity were significantly increased at steady state compared to the extrapolated SD values, suggesting accumulation of the drug. Renal and cardiovascular parameters have also been assessed at intervals of 3-6h during baseline (B) and following single and multiple doses of diltiazem SR. Diuresis over a 24 h period was increased, but not significantly, by the administration of diltiazem SR i.e. 1782 ml (MD) and 1915 ml (SD), versus 1626 ml (B). Natriuresis and creatinine clearance were slightly decreased by diltiazem SR, compared to B values; this might be due to the relatively short period over which steady state was maintained (five days) and the effects of norepinephrine and angiotensine II on renal vasculature and the pharmacokinetics of diltiazem SR. No increase in the systolic blood pressure occurred after the administration of diltiazem SR; diastolic blood pressure and PR interval were decreased and increased respectively by diltiazem SR. These results do not appear to be clinically significant. Finally, no relation was found between the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of diltiazem. This may be attributed to the absence of clinically significant effects in healthy volunteers, the presence of active metabolites, the pharmacokinetics of the SR formulation and/or the accumulation of the drug at steady state.