To clarify the in vivo first-pass metabolism of omeprazole, the pharmacokinetics were examined after oral, intraduodenal (i.d.), intraportal venous (i.p.v), and intravenous (i.v.) administration at various doses to rats. Extraction ratios in the liver and intestinal tract were determined from the areas under the concentration-time curve (AUC) for i.p.v. and i.v. administration and from those for id and ipv administration, respectively. Assuming that the drug was absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract completely, the hepatic and intestinal extraction ratios were 0.80, 0.63, and 0.59 at doses of 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg and 0.70 and 0.73 at doses of 5 and 10 mg/kg, respectively. The bioavailability of orally administered omeprazole was 6.4, 9.6, and 12.6% at the doses of 10, 20, and 40 mg/kg, respectively. There were no differences in the distribution volume of steady state, total clearance, or elimination half-life at any doses. In addition, the AUC value after oral administration (20 mg/kg) in rats acutely intoxicated with CCl4 was 2.4 times larger than that in the control. These findings suggest that omeprazole undergoes a first-pass metabolism in the intestinal mucosa and/or lumen, as well as in the liver, and that the major contribution to the dose-dependent increase in bioavailability is a saturation of the first-pass metabolism in the liver.