The role of oxygen-derived free radicals has been suggested in genesis of epilepsy and in the post seizure neuronal death. The aim of this study was to investigate whether erdosteine has a preventive effect against epilepsy and postepileptic oxidative stress. The mice (n = 27) were divided into three groups: (i) PTZ-induced-epilepsy group (it = 9); (ii) PTZ-induced-epilepsy + erdosteine group (it = 9); (iii) control group (n = 9). The animals were observed for a period of 30 min for latency to first seizure onset, total seizure duration, the number of seizure episodes. Then they were sacrificed and the brains were quickly removed, and frozen for biochemical analysis. Malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and xanthine oxidase (XO) activities were carried out in the brain tissue. The latent period between PTZ induction and seizure are longer in the PTZ + erdosteine group than in PTZ-induced-epilepsy group (P < 0.05). Biochemical analyses of brain tissue, revealed a significant increase in the MDA, XO and NO levels in the PTZ group according to erdosteine group. SOD level did not change in this group. While MDA and XO levels are significantly lower, SOD level is significantly higher in the PTZ + erdosteine group compared to PTZ and control groups (P < 0.01). The present study demonstrated that erdosteine treatment both may increase latent interval between seizures and may decrease oxidative stress, thus may ameliorate neuronal death in brain during seizures. It may be used as an adjunct therapy in epilepsy. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.