Background. People chew betel nut (Areca catechu) for physical work and stress reduction, but it contains arecoline, which has both therapeutic value and untoward effects on endocrine and gonadal functions. Objective. Aim of the present study is to investigate its role on adrenal with its target in metabolic stress in mice. Materials and methods. Mice were deprived of water/ food, each for 5 days/ treated with arecoline (10 mg/ kg body wt daily for 5 days)/ arecoline after water or food deprivation, for 5 days each. Results. Water or food-deprivation caused adrenocortical hyperactivity, evident from abundance of enlarged mitochondria and smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) with elevation of corticosterone level (C: 68.31 ± 2.30, WD: 159.31 ± 4.10/ FD: 194.12 ± 3.40 µg/ mL). Arecoline treatment alone or in water deprivation (C: 68.31 ± 2.30, AR: 144.50 ± 4.33, AR+WD: 194.42 ± 3.35 µg/ mL)/ food deprivation (AR + FD: 180.89 ± 4.51 µg/ mL) stress also stimulated adrenocortical activity as recorded in metabolic stress. In contrast, adrenomedullary activity was not altered following water/ food deprivation. Arecoline treatment alone or in metabolic stress suppressed adrenomedullary activity by showing depletion of chromaffin granules (E/NE?), epinephrine (E) and norepinephrine (NE) concentrations. Both the stress decreased blood glucose and liver glycogen levels. Arecoline treatment decreased blood glucose level, with a rise in liver glycogen level, but elevated blood glucose level in water deprivation unlike in starvation. Conclusion. Arecoline alone or in metabolic stress involves adrenal and probably other endocrine glands (pancreas, posterior pituitary and rennin-angiotensin system) to maintain homeostasis in metabolic stress in mice. © 2017, Acta Endocrinologica Foundation. All rights reserved.