The development and validation of an optimized capillary electrophoresis method for the determination of metacycline in the presence of its related substances by capillary electrophoresis is shown. The influence of methanol as organic modifier, buffer pH, buffer concentration, capillary length, column temperature, Triton X-100 and methyl-beta-cyclodextrin was investigated. A central composite design was performed in order to optimize the method. The optimal separation conditions were: uncoated fused-silica capillary (39 cm total length, 31 cm effective length, 50 microm ID); as background electrolyte a solution of 160 mM sodium carbonate and 1 mM EDTA (pH 10.35)/methanol (89:13 v/v); temperature, 15 degrees C; voltage, 12 kV. The method showed good selectivity, repeatability, linearity, and sensitivity. The limits of detection and quantitation are 0.024% and 0.06%, respectively, relative to a 2.5 mg/mL solution. Six commercial samples were analyzed quantitatively.