Much attention has recently been devoted to the life and behaviour of pharmaceuticals in the water cycle. In this study the behaviour of several pharmaceutical products in different therapeutic categories (analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, lipid regulators, antibiotics, etc.) was monitored during treatment of wastewater in a laboratory-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR). The results were compared with removal in a conventional activated-sludge (CAS) process in a wastewater-treatment facility. The performance of an MBR was monitored for approximately two months to investigate the long-term operational stability of the system and possible effects of solids retention time on the efficiency of removal of target compounds. Pharmaceuticals were, in general, removed to a greater extent by the MBR integrated system than during the CAS process. For most of the compounds investigated the performance of MBR treatment was better (removal rates >80%) and effluent concentrations of, e.g., diclofenac, ketoprofen, ranitidine, gemfibrozil, bezafibrate, pravastatin, and ofloxacin were steadier than for the conventional system. Occasionally removal efficiency was very similar, and high, for both treatments (e.g. for ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, paroxetine, and hydrochlorothiazide). The antiepileptic drug carbamazepine was the most persistent pharmaceutical and it passed through both the MBR and CAS systems untransformed. Because there was no washout of biomass from the reactor, high-quality effluent in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonium content (N-NH4), total suspended solids (TSS), and total organic carbon (TOC) was obtained.