Picrasma quassioides (D. Don) Benn. is used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of inflammation. Characteristic components of the medicinal extract are canthinone alkaloids. In this study, a sensitive and rapid liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry method has been developed for simultaneous quantification of two major canthinone alkaloids, 5-hydroxy-4-methoxycanthin-6-one and 4,5-dimethoxycanthin-6-one, in rat plasma after oral administration of P. quassioides extract (200 mg/kg). The chromatographic separation was performed on a C18 column using acetonitrile-aqueous 0.1% formic acid (90:10, v/v) as the mobile phase. Plasma samples were prepared for analysis using a simple liquid-liquid extraction with ethyl acetate. Analytes were detected using tandem mass spectrometry in positive multiple reaction monitoring mode. Method validation revealed excellent linearity over the range 1.25-900 ng/mL for 5-hydroxy-4-methoxycanthin-6-one and 0.5-800 ng/mL for 4,5-dimethoxycanthin-6-one with satisfactory intra- and inter-day precision, accuracy and recovery. Samples were stable under the conditions tested. The pharmacokinetic profiles of the analytes in rats showed that both canthinones were rapidly absorbed and that 4,5-dimethoxycanthin-6-one was eliminated faster than 5-hydroxy-4-methoxycanthin-6-one.