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Rx for Action

A blog devoted to helping people find local medicine take-back programs and highlighting current research findings and pending legislation.

Fish on Prozac: Anxious, anti-social, aggressive

Be sure to check out this article written by Brian Bienkowski, Staff Writer at Environmental Health News, on research conducted by Rebecca Klaper.

"When fish swim in waters tainted with antidepressant drugs, they become anxious, anti-social and sometimes even homicidal.
New research has found that the pharmaceuticals, which are frequently showing up in U.S. streams, can alter genes responsible
for building fish brains and controlling their behavior.

Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States; about 250 million prescriptions are filled every year. And they also are the highest-documented drugs contaminating waterways, which has experts worried about fish. Traces of the drugs typically get into streams when people excrete them, then sewage treatment plants discharge the effluent.

Exposure to fluoxetine, known by the trade name Prozac, had a bizarre effect on male fathead minnows, according to new, unpublished research by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Male minnows exposed to a small dose of the drug in laboratories ignored females. They spent more time under a tile, so their reproduction decreased and they took more time capturing prey, according to Rebecca Klaper, a professor of freshwater sciences who spoke about her findings at a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference last fall. Klaper said the doses of Prozac added to the fishes' water were "very low concentrations," 1 part per billion, which is found in some wastewater discharged into streams."

Full article available at: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2013/fish-on-prozac

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Posted by Laura Kammin at 11:38AM on 6/12/2013
Categories: In the News Latest Research