A highly selective, sensitive and accurate HPLC method has been developed and validated for the estimation of four proton-pump inhibitors (PPI), lansoprazole (LPZ), omeprazole (OPZ), pantoprazole (PPZ) and rabeprazole (RPZ), with 500 µL human plasma using zonisamide as an internal standard (IS). The sample preparation involved simple liquid–liquid extraction of LPZ, OPZ, PPZ and RPZ and IS from human plasma with ethyl acetate. The baseline separation of all the peaks was achieved with 0.1% triethylamine (pH 6.0):acetonitrile (72:28, v/v) at a flow rate of 1 mL/min on a Zorbax C8 column. The total chromatographic run time was 11.0 min and the simultaneous elution of IS, OPZ, RPZ, PPZ and LPZ occurred at approximately 2.42, 4.45, 5.02 and 9.37 min, respectively. The method was proved to be accurate and precise at linearity range of 20.61–1999.79 ng/mL with a correlation coefficient (r) of ≥0.999. The limit of quantitation for each of the PPI studied was 20.61 ng/mL. The intra- and inter-day precision and accuracy values were found to be within the assay variability limits as per the FDA guidelines. The developed assay method was applied to a pharmacokinetic study in human volunteers. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.