Abstract Effects of adrenalectomy (ADX) on analgesic potency and morphine (MOR) content after SC administration of 3.5 or 7 mg/kg of MOR, and effects of prednisolone (PRED) on the ADX-induced effects were studied. ADX significantly potentiated MOR analgesia at both MOR doses, and PRED reversed the ADX-induced potentiation of MOR analgesia. ADX did not affect MOR content in brain and plasma after 3.5 mg/kg MOR, but significantly increased MOR content in brain and plasma after 7 mg/kg MOR, and PRED reversed the ADX-induced increase in the MOR content. Although the analgesic potency of 3.5 mg/kg MOR in ADX group was equipotent with those of 7 mg/kg MOR in sham-operated and PRED-treated ADX groups, MOR content in the former group was significantly lower than those in the latter two groups. These results suggest that ADX potentiates MOR analgesia through both mechanisms of the increased MOR content and the increased sensitivity to MOR, and that the lack of glucocorticoids participates in both of these ADX-induced effects.