The addition of up to 10 g gentamicin sulfate antibiotic powder to 60 g units of Simplex-P acrylic bone cement caused gradual, proportional decreases in the bulk muchanical properties of compressive and diametral tensile strengths. Water leaching of the antibiotic from the cement did not significnatly decrease these strenghts. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) showed the antibiotic to reside in the acrylic matrix as discrete particles not usually associated with internal porosity. The surface-sensitive flexural strength of a proprietary bone cement was lowered immediately by small quantities of antibiotic powder, and continued to decrease as doses of up to 10 g/unit were admixed. Water leaching caused channeling as the antibiotic was removed from the surface, but it did not create further changes in flexural strength.