GBR 12909 selectively blocks dopamine uptake and its biochemical and pharmacological profiles suggest that it may possess antidepressant activity and be of value in treatment of Parkinson's disease. The tolerance, pharmacokinetics and influence on psychomotor performance of GBR 12909 were investigated in a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study. Four healthy subjects were administered oral single doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg GBR 12909 and placebo, and four other healthy subjects received, 50, 100 and 150 mg GBR 12909 and placebo once daily for 7 days. The intermediate and highest doses resulted in mild to moderate side-effects such as difficulties in concentrating, asthenia, feeling of drug influence and palpitations. No changes were observed in haematological and clinico-chemical parameters. A dose-related effect on ECG was observed with a slight reduction of the T-wave amplitude. No signs of arrhythmia or decompensation during exercise until exhaustion were observed. Psychomotor performance indicated dose-related sedation in the single-dose study. Only minor deviations from first order kinetics were observed. Elimination half-life was estimated at 1-2 days. Steady-state serum concentrations of GBR 12909 appeared to be attained within 1 week. Based on the results of this study, the estimated therapeutic doses are expected to be well-tolerated in patients.