In vitro, cytosolic human ketone reductases catalyse the stereospecific (i.e. >99%) formation of S(-) reduced haloperidol (RHP) from haloperidol (HP). Whether this situation is reflected in patients taking the drug is unknown. In this study in nine patients taking HP, only 73.2+/-18.2% of the RHP excreted in urine was the S(-) enantiomer. Thus, enzymes other than cytosolic ketone reductases must be responsible for the formation of the minor enantiomer. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V./ECNP.