A high-performance liquid chromatogaphic method was developed for determining the concentrations of ticarcillin (TIPC) epimers in human plasma and urine. Samples were prepared for HPLC analysis with a solid-phase extraction method and the concentrations of TIPC epimers were determined using reversed-phase HPLC. The mobile phase was a mixture of 0.005 M phosphate buffer (pH 7.0) and methanol (12:1, v/v) with a flow-rate of 1.0 ml/min. TIPC epimers were detected at 254 nm. Baseline separation of the two epimers was observed for both plasma and urine samples with a detection limit of ca. 1 microg/ml with a S/N ratio of 3. No peaks interfering with either of the TIPC epimers were observed on the HPLC chromatograms for blank plasma and urine. The recovery was more than 80% for both plasma and urine samples. C.V. values for intra- and inter-day variabilities were 0.9-2.1 and 1.1-6.4%, respectively, at concentrations ranging between 5 and 200 microg/ml. The present method was used to determine the concentrations of TIPC epimers in plasma and urine following intravenous injection of TIPC to a human volunteer. It was found that both epimers were actively secreted into urine and that the secretion of TIPC was not stereoselective. Plasma protein binding was also measured, which revealed stereoselective binding of TIPC in human plasma.