Abstract The application of thermospray and plasmaspray high-performance liquid chromatography—mass spectrometry to the analysis of diuretics and probenecid has been investigated. The latter method gave better ionization efficiency than the former, and its response was optimized by altering the solvent composition: best results were obtained with water—methanol—acetonitrile—trifluoroacetic acid. Using different proportions of these solvents, three isocratic systems were developed to separate the compounds under study. The principal characteristic of plasmaspray positive-ion mass spectra was a protonated molecular ion and very little fragmentation was evident. In the negative ionization mode, the plasmaspray method gave mass spectra showing more fragmentation, which resulted in additional structural information. The ability of trifluoroacetic acid to form negative cluster ions precluded its use as a mobile phase component. The minimum detectable amounts determined by the analysis in the positive-ion mode was compound-dependent, but generally ca. 10–150 ng. In many cases the compounds could be detected in urine extracts.