1. This study examined the impact of allopurinol on the renal functional responses to a 30 min period of ischaemia in anaesthetized rats. 2. Immediately on reperfusion, blood pressure rose transiently, while renal blood flow remained stable throughout at control values. Glomerular filtration rate was decreased by some 90% over the first and 80% over the sixth hour (P<0.001). 3. Allopurinol, 50 or 100 mg kg-1, had no effect on the blood pressure or renal blood flow responses over the 6 h reperfusion period but glomerular filtration decreased by 60% initially, and to less than 30% of basal at 6 h. 4. Urine flow and absolute sodium excretion increased 2 - 3 fold in the first 2 h but decreased thereafter. Fractional sodium excretion was 30 times higher for the first 2 h but decreased reaching some 10 fold higher at 6 h. In the presence of allopurinol, urine flow and absolute sodium excretion increased by 5 - 6 fold in the first 2 h, and fell by half by 6 h which was greater than in the vehicle group (P<0.01). Fractional sodium excretion increased 20 fold in the allopurinol animals in the first 2 h period, but fell at a faster rate (P<0.01) than in untreated rats. 5. Potassium excretion decreased (P<0.05) by one half for the 6 h reperfusion period but in the allopurinol animals it was minimally altered. 6. Allopurinol largely ameliorated the decrease in kidney haemodynamic and excretory function following an ischeamic period for the initial few hours of reperfusion.