The in vitro release of amoxycillin with clavulanic acid from acrylic strips at initial concentrations of 30,40 and 50 per cent w/w was monitored using a double-beam ultraviolet spectrophotometer and compared with release of tetracycline hydrochloride. Highest levels of the antibacterial agents were released during the first 24 h period. Therapeutic levels of the drugs continued to be released during the subsequent 9 day period and were shown to be biologically active. Furthermore, for amoxycillin with clavulanic acid, an initial concentration of 40 per cent gave the highest level of release on day 10; while, for tetracycline, 50 per cent provided the highest level of release. Local application of 40 per cent amoxycillin with clavulanic acid incorporated into acrylic strips placed in periodontal pockets in patients with established periodontitis produced a marked change in the subgingival microflora as monitored by dark-field microscopy and cultural techniques. These changes in the subgingival flora were concomitant with elimination of bleeding on probing at the treated sites and were still evident 3 weeks after removal of the acrylic strips. The sensitivity of Bacteroides gingivalis (syn. Porphyromonas gingivalis) and Bacteroides intermedius (syn. Prevotella intermedia) isolated before and after treatment to amoxycillin with clavulanic acid remained unchanged. © 1991.