Alterations of the normal redox balance in mammals might be attributed to increases of plasma free-radical concentrations and/or a disruption of the protective mechanisms. These conditions lead to damage to cellular structure by the mechanism of lipoperoxidation, particularly in the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. In this study, the effect of general anesthesia on the oxidative metabolism of human plasma and erythrocytes was investigated. Forty-five patients undergoing anesthesia by using halothane, enflurane, or isoflurane were included in this study. Blood samples were taken preoperatively, the first hour, the first day, and the third day after the operation. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) enzyme activities and trace elements such as cofactor copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se) levels were measured in plasma and red blood cells. Our results showed that halothane and enflurane administration increased the plasma GSH-Px activity and reduced zinc levels. In addition, they lowered SOD and GSH-Px activities and trace element levels on erythrocytes. Isoflurane had no effect on plasma antioxidant enzymes, but, similar to the others, isoflurane decreased the plasma zinc levels, erythrocyte SOD and GSH-Px activities and trace element levels.