Although the testosterone receptor antagonist flutamide restores the depressed immune function in males after trauma and hemorrhage, it remains unknown whether this agent has any salutary effects on adrenal function. To study this, male rats underwent laparotomy and were bled to and maintained at a blood pressure of 40 mmHg until 40% of the shed blood volume was returned in the form of Ringer lactate. Animals were then resuscitated and flutamide (25 mg/kg body wt) was administered subcutaneously. Plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone, as well as adrenal corticosterone and cAMP were measured 20 h after resuscitation. In additional animals, ACTH was administered and ACTH-induced corticosterone release and adrenal cAMP were determined. The results indicate that adrenal contents of corticosterone and cAMP were significantly decreased and morphology was altered after hemorrhage. Administration of flutamide improved corticosterone content, restored cAMP content, and attenuated adrenal morphological alterations. Flutamide also improved the diminished ACTH-induced corticosterone release and adrenal cAMP response at 20 h after hemorrhage and resuscitation. Furthermore, the diminished corticosterone response to ACTH stimulation in the isolated adrenal preparation was improved with flutamide. These results suggest that flutamide is a useful adjunct for improving adrenal function in males following trauma and hemorrhage.