Fifteen otherwise healthy asthmatics with reversible airway obstruction were treated with salbutamol (8 mg slow release twice daily) and theophylline (300 mg twice daily). Each drug was administered for 4 weeks in a double-blind randomized crossover trial. Irrespective of which drug was given first, salbutamol increased antipyrine clearance significantly by a factor of 1.10 and 1.15 after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment, respectively. Theophylline did not change antipyrine clearance. There was no correlation between the extent of change in antipyrine clearance during either of the drug treatments and alterations in lung function as assessed by changes in peak flow, forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in first second.