OBJECTIVE: The present study was designed to investigate the antiperoxidative potential of p-coumaric acid, a common dietary phenol, in adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. METHODS: Arthritis was induced by an intradermal injection of 0. 1 mL complete Freund's adjuvant in the foot pad of right hind limb of rats. p-Coumaric acid (100 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) and the reference drug indomethacin (3 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) were administered to arthritic rats for 8 d from the 11th day to the 18th day after adjuvant injection. The antiperoxidative effect of p-coumaric acid was investigated by assessing changes in lipid peroxidation levels and antioxidant status in liver, spleen and plasma of the adjuvant-induced arthritic rats. In addition, radiological changes in hind limbs of the arthritic rats were also analyzed. RESULTS: p-Coumaric acid treatment reversed the altered lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status observed in arthritic rats to near normal levels. Soft swelling, bone erosion, and joint space narrowing noticed in arthritic rats were found to be mitigated in p-coumaric acid-treated arthritic rats. CONCLUSION: The study clearly exhibits the antiperoxidative potential of p-coumaric acid against adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats.