The effects of chronic intragastric administration of the anorectic agent d-fenfluramine on energy metabolism and nutrient concentrations were investigated at rest and during swimming. Rats were provided with permanent cannulas for blood sampling and intragastric administration of d-fenfluramine or saline. Energy expenditure and nutrient and hormone concentrations were determined. Under baseline conditions, d-fenfluramine increased carbohydrate utilization (14.2 vs. 7.0 mg/kg·min) and decreased fat oxidation (2.8 vs. 5.5 mg/kg·min). Plasma free fatty acid concentration was decreased (0.29 vs. 0.55 mmol/l) and lactate and insulin concentrations were increased after d-fenfluramine treatment (0.64 vs. 0.37 mmol/l and 61 vs. 33 mU/l, respectively). The shift in nutrient utilization also occurred during swimming. The exercise-induced increase in blood glucose was reduced after d-fenfluramine (+0.8 vs. +2.0 mmol/l). During swimming, free fatty acid, lactate and insulin concentrations were similar in the two groups. It is hypothesized that chronic d-fenfluramine treatment increases in the oxidation of carbohydrates and decreases the oxidation of fat as a result of a decrease in the transport of fatty acids over the mitochondrial membrane.