We investigated the protective effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) on cyclophosphamide-induced hemorrhagic cystitis in rats in comparison with 2-mercaptoethane sulfonate (MESNA). Forty male rats were randomized into four groups: group 1 (control), group 2 (cyclophosphamide), group 3 (cyclophosphamide + MESNA), group 4 (cyclophosphamide + CAPE). Cyclophosphamide injection increased malondialdehyde levels indicating oxidative stress, whereas CAPE and MESNA ameliorated malondialdehyde levels in the bladder (p < 0.05). Only catalase activities were decreased significantly in both groups (cyclophosphamide + MESNA and cyclophosphamide + CAPE, p < 0.05). Pretreatment with CAPE (p < 0.01) resulted in a significant decrease in nitric oxide levels when compared with the cyclophosphamide group. When we consider the studies that show the critical importance of increased nitric oxide levels in pathogenesis of cyclophosphamide-induced hemorrhagic cystitis, we suggest that it would be more beneficial to use MESNA with CAPE to prevent histological damage. (C) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.