A kinetic study on the acidic hydrolysis of bromazepam was carried out in 0.01 M hydrochloric acid solution at 25 and 95 degrees C. A reversed-phase HPLC method was developed and validated for the determination of bromazepam and its degradation products. Bromazepam degraded by a consecutive reaction with a reversible first step. Two degradation products were isolated and identified by infrared, 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy. Spectroscopic data indicated that N-(4-bromo-2-(2-pyridylcarbonyl)phenyl)-2-aminoacetamide was the intermediate degradation product of this acid hydrolysis, whereas 2-amino-5-bromophenyl-2-pyridylmethanone was the final one. Therefore, the mechanism of this acid-catalysed hydrolysis involved initial cleavage of the 4,5-azomethine bond, followed by slow breakage of the 1,2-amide bond. Statistical evaluation of the HPLC method revealed its good linearity and reproducibility. Detection limits were 3.8 x 10(-7) M for bromazepam, 6.25 x 10(-7) M for the intermediate and 8.16 x 10(-7) M for the benzophenone derivative.