The effect of hepatic impairment on the clinical pharmacology of the angiotensin II (AII) receptor antagonist irbesartan was assessed by comparing pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters in 10 patients with hepatic cirrhosis with a matched group of 10 healthy volunteers. The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of irbesartan, 300 mg taken orally once daily, were evaluated after single- and multiple-dose (7 consecutive days) administration to normotensive subjects in an open-label, multiple-dose, parallel group study. Pharmacokinetic data obtained after administration of single and multiple doses of irbesartan showed no significant difference between the two groups in time to maximum observed plasma concentration of drug (tmax), half-life (t½), area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC), apparent oral clearance (Clt/F), renal clearance (Clr), and accumulation index (AI). Steady-state levels of irbesartan were reached within 3 days in both treatment groups. After irbesartan administration on day 1, mean increases from baseline in plasma AII levels and plasma renin activity(PRA) were greater in the group with cirrhosis than in the control group. On day 7, mean increases from baseline in PRA were greater in the control group than in the group with cirrhosis. No discontinuations or serious adverse events occurred during the study. The pharmacokinetics of irbesartan after repeated oral administration were not significantly affected in patients with mild-to-moderate cirrhosis of the liver. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with hepatic insufficiency.