Cyclosporine A-treated transplant recipients develop pronounced cardiovascular disease and have increased oxidative stress and altered antioxidant capacity in erythrocytes and plasma. These experiments investigated the time-course of cyclosporine A-induced changes to redox balance in plasma and erythrocytes. Rats were randomly assigned to either a control or cyclosporine A-treated group. Treatment animals received 25 mg/kg of cyclosporine A via intraperitoneal injection for either 7 days or a single dose. Control rats were injected with the same volume of the vehicle. Three hours after the final injections, plasma was analysed for total antioxidant status, alpha-tocopherol, malondialdehyde, and creatinine. Erythrocytes were analysed for reduced glutathione (GSH), alpha-tocopherol, methaemoglobin, malondialdehyde, and the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, GSH peroxidase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). Cyclosporine A administration for 7 days resulted in a significant increase (P<0.05) in plasma malondialdehyde, methaemoglobin, and superoxide dismutase and catalase activities. There was a significant decrease (P<0.05) in erythrocyte GSH concentration and G6PD activity in cyclosporine A animals. There were no significant differences (P>0.05) between groups following a single dose of cyclosporine A in any of the measures. In summary, cyclosporine A alters erythrocyte redox balance after 7 days administration, but not after a single dose.