In our study; we examined anti-ulcerogen and antioxidant effects of dantrolene sodium on ethanol-induced gastric lesions in rats. Dantrolene sodium was administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) in several doses, and famotidine was used at a dose of 20 mg kg(-1). It was found that pretreatment with dantrolene sodium at doses of 1, 5 and 10 mg kg(-1) significantly reduced ethanol-induced gastric damage and malondialdehyde levels, and significantly increased antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities. We conclude that dantrolene sodium clearly has antioxidant properties and that the protective effect of dantrolene sodium against ethanol-induced gastric mucosal lesion, at least in part, depends upon the reduction in the lipid peroxidation and an increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes SOD and GSH-Px. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.