The preparation and the pharmacological evaluation of the R- and S-isomers of 3-(2-butylamino)-4H-pyrido[4,3-e]-1,2,4-thiadiazine 1,1-dioxide (BPDZ 42) and 3-(3-methyl-2-butylamino)-4H-pyrido[4,3-e]-1,2,4-thiadiazine 1,1-dioxide (BPDZ 44), two potassium channel openers, is described. Their optical purity was estimated by means of capillary electrophoresis (R- and S-BPDZ 42) and chiral HPLC (R- and S-BPDZ 44). The absolute configuration of each isomer of BPDZ 44 was deduced from crystallographic data. Pharmacological assays performed with the R- and S-isomers of BPDZ 44 revealed only slight differences in their activity on pancreatic B-cells but significant differences in their activity on vascular smooth muscle cells: the R-isomer being sixfold more potent than its corresponding S-isomer. The R-isomer of BPDZ 42 was shown to be more potent than its corresponding S-isomer on the endocrine pancreas. S-BPDZ 44 as well as R- and S-BPDZ 42 were found to exhibit tissue selectivity for the pancreatic versus the vascular smooth muscle tissue.