The effect of renal failure on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of bisoprolol was investigated in bilateral ureter-ligated (BUL) rats. The blood bisoprolol concentrations following 30-min intravenous infusion at a rate of 60 microg/kg/min were higher in renal artery-occluded (RAO) rats than in control rats, and were higher in BUL rats than in RAO rats. Increased blood bisoprolol concentrations accompanied decreased mean systemic clearances: 50.7, 36.4, and 26.2 mL/min/kg in control, RAO, and BUL rats, respectively. The finding indicated that approximately 30% of administered bisoprolol was excreted via the kidney, and that not only the renal clearance but also non-renal clearance of bisoprolol was decreased in BUL rats. The beta-blocking action of bisoprolol was assessed by the reduction in isoproterenol-induced increases in the heart rate. The relationship between blood concentration and the beta-blocking action of bisoprolol in BUL rats was similar to that in control rats. These results suggested that renal excretion and hepatic metabolism of bisoprolol were significantly reduced in BUL rats, but that pharmacodynamics of bisoprolol was not altered by acute renal failure.