Ethanol causes oxidative stress and tissue damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of antioxidant carnosine on the oxidative stress induced by ethanol in the rat brain tissue. Forty male rats were divided equally into four groups as control, carnosine (CAR), ethanol (EtOH), and ethanol plus carnosine (EtOH + CAR). Rats in the control group (n = 10) were injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with 0.9% saline; EtOH group (n = 10) with 2 g/kg/day ethanol, CAR group (n = 10) received carnosine at a dose of 1 mg/kg/day and EtOH + CAR group (n = 10) received carnosine (orally) and ethanol (i.p.). All animals were sacrificed using ketamine and brain tissues were removed. Malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyl (PCO) and tissue carnosine levels, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were measured. Endogenous CAR levels in the rat brain tissue specimens were significantly increased in the CAR and EtOH groups when compared to the control animals. MDA and PCO levels in the EtOH group were significantly increased as compared to the other groups (P < 0.05). CAR treatment also decreased MDA levels in the CAR group as compared to the control group. Increased SOD activities were obtained in the EtOH + CAR group as compared to the control (P < 0.05). CAR levels in the rat brain were significantly increased in the CAR, EtOH and CAR + EtOH groups when compared to the control animals. These findings indicated that carnosine may appear as a protective agent against ethanol-induced brain damage.