The disposition of benzbromarone and its uric acid lowering effect were investigated in 8 patients with compensated liver cirrhosis in order to obtain evidence whether dose requirements differ from subjects with normal liver function. Following a single oral dose of 100 mg benzbromarone, the plasma concentrations of the parent drug and the two hydroxylated main metabolites M1 and M2 as well as uric acid were determined up to at least 72 h. All patients were found to be rapid benzbromarone eliminators. In patients 2-8 the extent of systemic availability of benzbromarone, as estimated by the average AUC(0-infinite), was similar to previous observations in healthy individuals, whereas the values of both metabolites M1 and M2 tended to be lower in patients with liver cirrhosis. Cmax of benzbromarone and M1 also were lower in patients, M2 was equivalent to the data in subjects with normal liver function. tmax and the plasma elimination half-life t(1/2) varied within the same range as previously observed in healthy individuals. One patient exhibited much higher values in AUC(0-infinite); and Cmax of benzbromarone and both metabolites, and in addition of the elimination half-life of M1 and M2, whereas the plasma elimination of benzbromarone itself was not delayed. An effect of altered liver function cannot be excluded in this patient. Ten hours after benzbromarone administration the mean plasma uric acid in patients 2-8 was reduced by 31.5% and in patient 1 by 44.2% as compared to pretreatment values. Baseline levels were not regained until 72 h. These data are compatible with a prolonged uric acid lowering effect of an active benzbromarone metabolite. Altogether, the present observations do not suggest dose adjustment to be necessary in patients with compensated liver cirrhosis Child A and B.