The pharmacokinetics of racemic (rac) felodipine, rac-nitrendipine and nifedipine (all given as an oral dose of 20 mg in solution) have been investigated in a randomised cross-over study in 12 healthy male subjects using stereoselective assays. Both felodipine and nitrendipine exhibited stereoselective pharmacokinetics. On average, the AUCs of the active (S)-enantiomers of felodipine and nitrendipine were 139% and 104% higher than those of their optical antipodes, but the elimination half-lives of the enantiomers of each racemate were not different. The AUCs of nifedipine, rac-felodipine, rac-nitrendipine and of their enantiomers were highly correlated (all r > 0.83), suggesting closely related rate limiting steps in the in vivo first-pass metabolism of these high-clearance drugs. Stereoselectivity was only a minor contributor to inter-individual variability in the oral pharmacokinetics of these compounds in healthy subjects.