Recent clinical studies have reported a beneficial effect of fluoxetine, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in patients with severe refractory orthostatic hypotension. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of fluoxetine in orthostatic hypotension occurring during Parkinson's disease on both blood pressure values and number of clinical symptoms during orthostatic procedure evaluated using a validated clinical rating scale. In a pilot study performed in fourteen patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease plus orthostatic hypotension, fluoxetine hydrochloride (20 mg orally daily during one month) significantly reduced the fall in systolic blood pressure [-33 +/- 21 (SD) mmHg before fluoxetine vs -22 +/- 19 mmHg after fluoxetine, P = 0.03] elicited by standing without modifying heart rate. The drug also significantly reduced the number of postural symptoms occurring during the orthostatic procedure [2.9 +/- 1.5 (SD) before fluoxetine vs 1.2 +/- 1.3 after fluoxetine, P = 0.006]. A similar pattern of response was obtained in an experimental model of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension obtained in chronically sino-aortic denervated dogs submitted to an 80 degrees head-up tilt test procedure under chloralose anaesthesia. Fluoxetine did not change plasma noradrenaline levels. This pilot study suggests a slight but clinically significant effect of fluoxetine on both hemodynamic parameters and clinical symptoms in parkinsonian patients suffering from orthostatic hypotension.