A rapid and precise high-performance liquid chromatographic assay for both N-acetylcysteine and penicillamine in blood samples is described using selective reductive electrochemical detection and a high-efficiency C18 reversed-phase column. The use of an internal standard compensated for changes in detector responses during a run and for variable sample recovery. The detection limits for N-acetylcysteine and penicillamine were 25 and 10 ng/ml, respectively, using 500-μl blood samples. Reproducibility of measurement for both thiols was excellent. This method allows routine monitoring of blood levels and pharmacokinetic studies with N-acetylcysteine and penicillamine.