The effects of oral dexnorfenfluramine (DNF; 1-4 mg/kg, twice daily for 4 days), the active metabolite of dexfenfluramine, were examined on rat regional brain indole contents and [3H]citalopram binding. Two hours after the last dose, serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were dose-dependently lowered at doses above 1.5 mg/kg, with slight regional differences. Cortical 5-HT uptake sites were reduced only at the highest dose. Above 2 mg/kg DNF also caused a more lasting reduction (4 weeks) of regional indoles and cortical 5-HT uptake sites. At this longer time while the decrease in hippocampal 5-HT levels and cortical 5-HT uptake sites remained essentially constant, cortical and striatal 5-HT levels were lowered less than at 2 h, suggesting a return toward control values.