The effect of flecainide on the QRS interval was studied in 10 patients who were receiving long-term oral treatment (50 to 150 mg twice daily) for arrhythmias that were refractory to other drugs. Total and free drug plasma levels and QRS durations were measured at intervals after the morning administration. Free drug plasma levels were linearly correlated with QRS duration in each patient and the slope of the line was widely variable in the population studied. Even after the data from one patient with an unusually high slope (0.454) was excluded from the analysis, the slope range was 0.0284 to 0.144. Pharmacodynamic variability could not be explained by heart rate changes, active metabolites, electrolyte disturbances, or free drug concentration. None of the pharmacokinetic parameters measured (average steady-state concentration, fluctuation of maximum and minimum concentrations, time to peak concentration, final half-life, and protein binding) showed an intersubject variability greater than 4.4 times. Our findings suggest that the determination of flecainide free plasma concentration may not be sufficient to forecast electrophysiologic effects in individual patients.