In the present study, we have investigated how various 5-HT agonists (m-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) (0.1-1 mg/kg), 8-hydroxy 2-(di-N-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH DPAT) (0.125-2 mg/kg) and 5-HT (0.5-2 mg/kg)), the 5-HT uptake blocker sertraline (1-10 mg/kg), and the 5-HT uptake blocker and releaser dexfenfluramine (0.5-2.5 mg/kg), affect ethanol intake in a continual access paradigm using Wistar rats. By means of a drinkometer system the effect of each drug on microdrinking parameters (e.g., drink latency, number, and duration of drinking bouts) was assessed. The effect of various 5-HT antagonists (metergoline, ritanserin, ondansetron, and xylamidine) against the dexfenfluramine-induced suppression was studied. Furthermore, threshold doses for the anorectic and the suppressant effects of mCPP, sertraline and dexfenfluramine on ethanol intake were identified. From these studies, it seemed that similar mechanisms may be responsible for the suppressant effects of the various 5-HT agonists studied (direct and indirect) on ethanol and food intake. The 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ondansetron, also reduced ethanol (but not food) intake. However, the profile of this effect may suggest an alternative means by which 5-HT3 receptors regulate ethanol intake in the rat by comparison to the various 5-HT agonists studied.