The aims of the study were to compare [(14)C]-paracetamol ([(14)C]-PARA) paediatric pharmacokinetics (PK) after administration mixed in a therapeutic dose or an isolated microdose and to develop further and validate accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) bioanalysis in the 0-2 year old age group. [(14)C]-PARA concentrations in 10-15 µl plasma samples were measured after enteral or i.v. administration of a single [(14)C]-PARA microdose or mixed in with therapeutic dose in infants receiving PARA as part of their therapeutic regimen. Thirty-four infants were included in the PARA PK analysis for this study: oral microdose (n = 4), i.v. microdose (n = 6), oral therapeutic (n = 6) and i.v. therapeutic (n = 18). The respective mean clearance (CL) values (SDs in parentheses) for these dosed groups were 1.46 (1.00) l h(-1), 1.76 (1.07) l h(-1), 2.93 (2.08) l h(-1) and 2.72 (3.10) l h(-1), t(1/2) values 2.65 h, 2.55 h, 8.36 h and 7.16 h and dose normalized AUC(0-t) (mg l(-1) h) values were 0.90 (0.43), 0.84 (0.57), 0.7 (0.79) and 0.54 (0.26). All necessary ethical, scientific, clinical and regulatory procedures were put in place to conduct PK studies using enteral and systemic microdosing in two European centres. The pharmacokinetics of a therapeutic dose (mg kg(-1)) and a microdose (ng kg(-1)) in babies between 35 to 127 weeks post-menstrual age. [(14)C]-PARA pharmacokinetic parameters were within a two-fold range after a therapeutic dose or a microdose. Exploratory studies using doses significantly less than therapeutic doses may offer ethical and safety advantages with increased bionalytical sensitivity in selected exploratory paediatric pharmacokinetic studies.