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Abstract:  Emotional stress can be viewed as a cause of adverse circumstances that induces a wide range of biochemical and behavioural changes. Oxidative stress is a critical route of damage in various psychological stress–induced disorders such as depression. Antidepressants are widely prescribed to treat these conditions; however, no animal study has investigated the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species in peripheral blood leucocytes of stressed mice. In this study, mice were immobilized for a period of 6 hr. Fluoxetine (5 mg/kg of body-weight) was administered 30 min. before subjecting the animals to acute stress. The level of intracellular reactive oxygen species in leucocytes of the peripheral blood of stressed mice was investigated using a 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein diacetate probe, and the antioxidant response of fluoxetine was evaluated by superoxide dismutase, diaphorase, catalase and reduced glutathione. Our results show that restraint stress significantly increases the generation of reactive oxygen species in the peripheral defence cells. Treatment with fluoxetine partially reverses the adverse effects of stress. The improvement in cellular oxidative status may be an important mechanism underlying the protective pharmacological effects of fluoxetine, which are clinically observed in the treatment of depressive disorders.