A novel method for simultaneous determination of diltiazem and quinidine in human plasma is described. Plasma is alkalinized and extracted with methyl tert.-butyl ether. The ether phase is separated and evaporated. The residue is reconstituted in 0.2 ml of mobile phase containing 56 mM octanesulfonic acid then washed twice with n-hexane. Aliquots are chromatographed on a silanol-deactivated reversed-phase column using a mobile phase containing aqueous H2SO4 (0.01 M, pH 2)-methanol-acetonitrile (45:45:10) and 10 mM octanesulfonic acid. Peaks are monitored with a UV detector set at 237 nm and a fluorescence detector using an excitation set at 247 nm and a 270 nm UV cut-off filter at the emission. Calibration and standard curves were linear from 1 to 130 ng on-column for diltiazem and from 2 to 600 ng on-column for quinidine. Limits of quantitation were 2 and 4 ng/ml for diltiazem and quinidine, respectively. Recoveries from spiked plasma were 94.0 to 102.5% (R.S.D. 6.0-11.4%) for diltiazem and 98.5% to 104.1 (R.S.D. 7.7-8.7%) for quinidine over the ranges studied. In vitro stability was studied in spiked plasma samples stored at -80 degrees C for sixteen months. Both diltiazem and quinidine remained within 10% from nominal values. For ex vivo stability at -80 degrees C, a plasma sample obtained from a volunteer 2 h after oral administration of diltiazem (60 mg) was analysed for two days after sampling and eighteen months later. The mean deviation from initial measured was 4.7%.