The utility of pyrazinamide (PZA) in the short-course antituberculous treatment is well established. All available data support the idea that the PZA metabolite pyrazinoic acid (PA) is the active compound against M. tuberculosis. This situation warranted a deeper investigation of possible interactions with respect to its metabolic disposition. Caffeine, which is widely used as a drug and is a common constituent of most diets, shares with PZA the same metabolic enzyme, xanthine oxidase (XO). This study investigated if, and in what manner, concomitant administration of caffeine affects PZA metabolism. PZA and caffeine, in various doses (PZA=50 or 100 mg kg(-1) and caffeine= 0, 50, 100, and 150 mg kg(-1)), were administered to female Sprague-Dawley rats. PZA and its three main metabolites were quantified in 24 h urine samples by reversed phase-HPLC Concomitant administration of 100 mg kg(-1) caffeine and 50 mg kg(-1) PZA increased from the excretion (p<0.05) of the most water-soluble and the least toxic PZA metabolite 5-hydroxypyrazinoic acid (5-OH-PA) from 66.18+/-10.87 to 94.56+/-8.65 micromol/24 h. This effect was more pronounced when 100 mg kg(-1) of PZA was administered increasing excretion of 5-OH-PA from 113.28+/-70 to 173.23+/-17.82 micromol/24 h. These results show that the metabolic disposition of PZA is affected by concomitant caffeine intake.