Summary Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated during 20 h with subcutaneously implanted tablets (controlled release systems) containing either adrenaline (A), noradrenaline (NA), isoprenaline (ISO) or just placebos. Levels of the exogenously administered catecholamines (CA) in plasma and liver homogenate were significantly higher than in controls throughout the test time. During NA application endogeneous A and dopamine (DA) plasma values rose considerably, while ISO application enhanced endogenous NA and A levels. Adrenaline application increased NA and DA plasma levels. Several possibilities for this phenomenon are discussed, and it is concluded that previous papers dealing with observations of long term action of CA's should be reevaluated unless the influence of the artificially given CA on the elevation of endogenous CA's has been already taken into consideration.