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We investigated the effect of a single oral dose of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, reboxetine (4 mg), on plasma and salivary cortisol in 24 healthy volunteers in a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group design. Reboxetine significantly increased both plasma and salivary cortisol, although the correlation between the responses in plasma and saliva was modest. Our results are consistent with previous neuroendocrine challenge studies showing that potentiation of brain noradrenaline function stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Reboxetine-induced salivary cortisol release appears to be a simple and relatively non-invasive test of hypothalamic noradrenaline function. However, placebo-controlled, within-subject designs are likely to yield a more valid measure of noradrenaline-mediated cortisol release.

Original publication




Journal article


J Psychopharmacol

Publication Date





273 - 275


Administration, Oral, Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors, Adult, Area Under Curve, Female, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Male, Middle Aged, Morpholines, Reboxetine, Saliva, Time Factors