To evaluate the role of endogenous opioid peptides in regulating the blood pressure of hypertensive individuals, we administered the opiate antagonist, naloxone. One individual developed a severe hypertensive response, mean arterial pressure rising from a baseline of 107 mmHg to 147 mmHg 145 min after naloxone injection and infusion. After stopping naloxone, his blood pressure rapidly returned to baseline. Re-challenge with naloxone and clonidine resulted in a modest reduction of blood pressure in contrast to the profound hypotension induced by clonidine alone during a third session. Thus, endogenous opioids appear to regulate blood pressure in some hypertensive patients and opiate antagonists must be administered with caution to these individuals.