Abstract A very selective method is described for the determination of doxorubicin in rat plasma. Doxorubicin is extracted from the plasma on a pretreated octadecyl silane column and eluted with phosphate buffer pH 2.6/methanol (25/75, v/v) containing sodium 1-heptanesulfonate as ion-pairing agent. The extraction procedure is suitable for samples which contain doxorubicin encapsulated in liposomes if Triton X-100 is added. A portion of the evaporated eluate is used for high-performance reversed-phase chromatography with the same eluent and a fluorescence detector. Daunorubicin is used as internal standard. Extraction of doxorubicin from plasma is quantitative. The calibration graph is linear for 0.2-100 μg l −1 doxorubicin with a limit of detection of 0.2 μg l −1 for 0.5 ml of plasma. The relative standard error of estimate of the calibration was typically 3%.