A series of N-alkylamide derivatives of 4-amino-3-furoxancarboxylic acids 5a-11a and their oxidation products, the azo derivatives 5b-11b, were synthesised and studied for their vasodilating properties. All the products were able to release rat aorta strips precontracted with (-)noradrenaline. Azo derivatives proved to be 20-200 times more potent than the parent amines. The large variation of lipophilicity within the two series does not seem to influence significantly the activity. Experiments carried out in the presence of oxyhaemoglobin (HbO(2)) suggest the involvement of nitric oxide (NO*) in the vasodilation.