Since reboxetine acts selectively on the reuptake of noradrenaline, it has a different side-effects profile than drugs acting predominantly on the serotonin reuptake mechanism. Data from patients treated with reboxetine (n = 1503) or placebo/comparator drugs (n = 1027) show that reboxetine has no significant cardiovascular effects, a low potential for drug interactions, causes no significant impairment of cognitive or motor function and no increase in suicidal ideation. In contrast to certain serotonergic drugs, there is no evidence of any withdrawal syndrome upon abrupt discontinuation or tapering of reboxetine treatment. Sexual dysfunction appears in only a small fraction of the patients and mainly with doses higher than 8 mg daily. The rate of discontinuation due to adverse effects with reboxetine was not significantly different from that observed with placebo in short-term studies. The level of efficacy and apparently favourable tolerability profile makes reboxetine an important alternative in the medical treatment of depressive illness.