The pharmacokinetics of bismuth subcitrate were studied in plasma and urine under conditions of single and multiple dosing (28-56 days) using atomic absorption technique. Single dose plasma pharmacokinetics showed peak concentrations of 5.5-57.5 μg·l-1 (mean=24.7 μg·l-1), reached between 30 and 60 min post dosing with an apparent biphasic elimination pattern. Multiple dose studies showed a continuing rise in plasma concentration and urine excretion rate reaching apparent steady-state levels over 7-29 days (mean=18 days). Washout studies in 6 individuals reciprocated accumulation. Maximum equilibrated plasma levels of 7.6-58.3 μg·l-1 (mean=38.3 μg·l-1) were well below those associated with encephalopathy. The half-life of bismuth elimination was 20.7 days. Present patterns of intermittent dosing with bismuth are unlikely to be associated with bismuth accumulation despite slow accumulation and elimination.