UV absorption and second derivative spectrophotometric methods were developed for the determination of astemizole in commercial pharmaceutical formulations containing this compound alone. Solutions of astemizole in 0.1 M HCl:methanol (1:3) were used in the methods and the linearity range was 4.6-45.8 μg ml-1 in both methods. The mean recoveries and relative standard deviations were calculated and the method was applied to two commercial preparations marketed in Turkey. Results were compared with the literature method, HPLC. Also, two new spectrophotometric methods are described for the simultaneous determination of astemizole and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride in their combination. In the first method, first derivative spectrophotometry, dA/dλ values were read at selected wavelengths in zero-crossing points in the first derivative spectra of the mixture solution in 0.1 M HCl:methanol (1:3). In the second, ratio spectra derivative spectrophotometry, analytical signals were measured at the wavelengths corresponding to either maximums and minimums for both drugs in their solution in 0.1 M HCl:methanol (1:3) in the first derivative spectra of their ratio spectra. The procedures do not require any separation step. The mean recoveries were found satisfactory in the methods. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.