A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the pharmacokinetics and safety of multiple doses of recombinant human erythropoietin [rHuEPO 150 or 300 U/kg either by intravenous (IV) bolus or subcutaneously (SC)] in normal male subjects demonstrated that rHuEPO had a dose- related effect on the hematocrit independent of the route of administration and that multiple doses of rHuEPO had no direct pressor effects. When rHuEPO was injected IV, a monoexponential decrease in serum EPO level was evident for 18 to 24 hours postdose. Absorption of SC injected rHuEPO occurred more slowly, with relatively low serum EPO levels being maintained for 48 hours. All rHuEPO antibody titer determinations were negative. With the exception of significant increases in hemoglobin and hematocrit, no clinically significant changes occurred. No hypertensive, convulsive, or thrombotic events were observed. Of the adverse experiences observed in 10 subjects, none was considered clinically significant, and none of the subjects dropped out because of adverse experiences.