Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), plasma noradrenaline (NA), and adrenaline (A) levels in the lying and standing position were compared in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and control subjects. Three groups of PD patients (stage 2 and 3) were investigated: six patients deprived of antiparkinsonian drugs from 48 h, seven levodopa + benserazide-treated patients, and seven bromocriptine-treated patients. BP, HR, NA, and A were similar at rest and in the standing position in controls and in PD patients deprived of antiparkinsonian drugs from 48 h. Chronic treatment with levodopa (+ benserazide) failed to modify BP, HR, NA, and A. Bromocriptine decreased BP, HR, and NA (but not A) at rest. In PD patients treated with levodopa (+ benserazide) or bromocriptine alone, the rise in NA (but not A) elicited by standing up was reduced. These results indicate that (a) stages 2 to 3 of Parkinson's disease are not accompanied by major changes in autonomic cardiovascular function and (b) dopaminergic drugs blunted the sympathetic response to standing up.