A fast and simple micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatographic method was developed for the analysis of piribedil in pharmaceutical formulations. The effects of buffer concentration, buffer pH, sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) concentration, organic modifier, applied voltage and injection time were investigated. Optimum results were obtained with a 50 mM borate buffer at pH 8.0 containing 50 mM SDS by using a fused silica capillary (50 mum internal diameter, 72 cm effective length). The sample was injected hydrodynamically for 4 s at 50 mbar pressure and the applied voltage was +30 kV. The detection wavelength was set at 205 nm. Diflunisal was used as an internal standard. The analysis was performed at 25 degreesC and the total run time was 14 min. The method was suitably validated with respect to linearity range, limit of detection and quantification, precision, accuracy, specificity and robustness. The linear calibration range was 5-100 mug mL(-1) and the limit of detection was determined as 1 mug mL(-1). The method developed was successfully applied to the determination of piribedil in pharmaceutical formulations. The results were compared with a spectrophotometric method reported in the literature and no significant difference was found statistically.