The concept of histamine receptors is outlined and the rationale for the synthesis of H2-antagonists presented. Structure-activity relationships among these compounds are described and aspects of absorption, distribution and elimination discussed with particular reference to cimetidine and ranitidine. Oxmetidine, lupitidine and loxtidine are also considered. Methods for the analysis of these drugs in body fluids are presented followed by a discussion of their toxicology. Volunteer and patient studies are also surveyed.