To study the effects of beta-endorphin in chronic schizophrenia, nine male patients participated in a double-blind crossover comparison of a single intravenous 20-mg injection of beta-endorphin and saline. Bolus injection of beta-endorphin from an albumin-coated syringe produced markedly higher plasma concentrations than did slow intravenous infusion from a non-albumin-coated syringe. Beta-endorphin intravenously injected in nine patients produced a statistically significant increase in serum prolactin levels. In one patient, both 10 mg of morphine sulfate and 20 mg of beta-endorphin produced similar increases in the alpha power of the EEG. In eight patients, beta-endorphin administration was associated with a statistically significant but not clinically obvious improvement in schizophrenic symptoms.