Background: Our previous studies showed that procainamide hydrochloride may be an important modulator of cisplatin toxicity and antitumour activity. This study was performed in order to investigate if procainamide hydrochloride may influence the therapeutic index of cisplatin by inducing modifications of its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodymanics in vivo.Materials And Methods: The pharmacokinetic profile of cisplatin administered either in the presence or absence of procainamide hydrochloride was investigated in BDF1 female mice bearing 6-day P388 leukemia. Procainamide hydrochloride was administered i.v. at the dose of 50 mg/kg, immediately before cisplatin which, in turn, was administered i.p. at the dose of 8 mg/kg.Results: The combined administration of the antiarrhythmic drug and cisplatin caused significant differences in the pharmacokinetic profiles of Pt in plasma, ascites fluid and tissues. Filterable Pt was significantly increased both in plasma and ascites fluid in animals given the combined treatment. Similarly, a small increase was also found for total plasma Pt. These differences caused some changes of the pharmacokinetic parameters of filterable (plasma: AUC0-1 h = +16%, t1/2 alpha = +29%, t1/2b = +14%, K2p = -32%; ascites fluid: AUC0-1 h = +23%, t1/2 alpha = +78%, t1/2 beta = -49%, and total Pt (plasma: AUC0-1 h = +19%, t1/2 alpha = +27%, t1/2 beta = -22%; ascites fluid: AUC0-1 h = +6%, AUC0-infinity = +43%, t1/2 alpha = +30%). The analysis of tissue Pt content showed the general increase of Pt concentration in the main organs of animals treated with cisplatin and procainamide hydrochloride, with AUC0-24 h increased by 95%, 22%, 90% and 28% in kidney, liver, spleen and lung, respectively. The analysis of binding of Pt to DNA and percent interstrand cross-links (%ISCL) in P388 tumour cells showed that the % ISCL (10.44 +/- 3.81% vs. 3.51 +/- 0.01%) and the efficiency of ISCL formation (0.51 +/- 0.14 vs. 0.17 +/- 0.02 %ISCL.microgram DNA/pg Pt) were significantly greater when cisplatin was administered in association with procainamide hydrochloride.Conclusion: Our results show that procainamide hydrochloride may alter the pharmacodynamics and the pharmacokinetics and distribution of Pt in tumored mice treated with cisplatin.