A novel, simple, sensitive and selective solid-phase extraction (SPE)-spectrofluorimetric method has been developed for the determination of atenolol (ATE) in human urine. Because an extraction procedure is required to isolate ATE or eliminate the interfering molecules present in complex human urine for the direct spectrofluorimetric determination, a pH-sensitive poly(acrylic acid-ethylene glycol dimethacrylate) [poly(AA-EGDMA)] hydrogel was developed and used as a SPE adsorbent. Some factors affecting the ATE extraction efficiency, such as washing solvent type and volume, and the volume of elution solvent were optimized. Eluates from SPE cartridges were analyzed using a spectrofluorimeter ((ex)=277 nm and (em)=300 nm). The calibration graph was linear over the concentration range 0.15-4.0 mu g/mL. Limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) values were found to be 0.03 and 0.10 mu g/mL, respectively. Relatively high intraday [2.06%, mean relative standard deviation (RSD)] and interday (2.6%, mean RSD) precisions were achieved. High mean recovery (95.4%) and low RSD values (3.8%) were obtained for spiked ATE in human urine. The spectrofluorimetric method presented here can be easily applied to assay trace amounts of ATE in pharmaceuticals and biological samples. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.