Neuroprotective therapies and tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) have limited application for most stroke patients and thus rehabilitation is the primary treatment option for improving recovery of function. Following brain injury, environmental enrichment, pharmacological and rehabilitative treatments can markedly alter neuronal plasticity and behavioral recovery even when delayed by several weeks after the insult. Fluoxetine has been given to stroke patients to combat depression but its effects on recovery of function are not known. Functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals that fluoxetine alters brain activity and modulates motor performance in stroke patients in a use-dependent fashion. Several antidepressants, including fluoxetine, increase growth factors and other proteins associated with plasticity, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In this study, we examined whether chronic administration of fluoxetine combined with rehabilitation affected recovery of function on 3 separate tests of forelimb reaching, preference and limb coordination after focal ischemia in rats. Ischemia was induced in male Long-Evans rats by intracortical and striatal injections of endothelin-1. Fluoxetine (10 mg/kg/day) combined with rehabilitation therapy (6 h/day) for 4 weeks did not alter the degree or rate of recovery of function compared to non-treated animals. Despite the ability of fluoxetine to alter brain activity and increase growth factors, it does not appear to be an effective pharmacological adjunct to functional recovery after ischemia in rats.