The first measurements of haloperidol (HL) and its reduced metabolite hydroxyhaloperidol (RH) in plasma versus clinical response in five chronic schizophrenic patients are reported. HL and RH were measured by a radioimmunoassay with a low coefficient of variation. Patients were selected based on poor response or the need for high dosage and were rated with the Clinical Global Impression Scale. Daily HL dosage range was 0.5 to 1.5 mg/kg. HL plasma concentrations ranged from 14 to 98 ng/ml. RH plasma concentrations ranged from 10 to 319 ng/ml. Four patients did not respond to HL therapy; two of these improved dramatically when switched to fluphenazine. The four nonresponding patients had higher RH than HL concentrations. RH seems to be present in plasma in significant concentrations, and further investigation of the relationships of RH and HL plasma levels versus response is needed.