Fish are also taking antidepressants because of humans

From our medical prescriptions to the oceans, via waste water, antidepressants have a greater impact than expected. And that includes the aquatic environment.

Water pollution
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Water pollution

Perhaps tired of getting their habitats destroyed by humans, fish have now resorted to taking antidepressants. Of course, it's not intentional, however, this is becoming a big issue all because of human pollution that's dumped in seas and oceans.

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A sharp rise in consumption

To better understand how our valued fish end up on Prozac, we need to go back to the origins. Over the last few decades, the rate of consumption of antidepressants has soared by 400%. Indeed, it is now estimated that 1 in 10 people in the West will be prescribed an antidepressant in their lifetime.

Moreover, since the first lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has also been a marked increase in the use of this kind of medication. According to a report published on 27 May by the scientific interest group Epi-Phare:

The strong trend of increased use of these three classes of drugs has further increased in 2021 with increases in deliveries of +5% to +13% depending on the drug.

From humans to fish

If fish, too, are in contact with antidepressants, it is obviously not of their own free will. These pharmaceutical products are certainly very useful for humans, but their biochemical effects, unfortunately, do not stop when they are ingested.

Fluoxetine, a psychotropic drug found in antidepressants, once consumed and excreted by the patient, continues to exist independently. It is common that its meta-biotics are not filtered well enough by sewage treatment plants that are rarely designed to deal with this kind of chemical.

Through wastewater

They are then discharged into the effluents, admittedly in small quantities, but their constant input makes the molecule very persistent in the water circuit. In addition to the discharges from hospitals and pharmaceutical laboratories. And the effects are not without risk for them.

The molecule will in fact impair their survival reflexes by making them more sluggish and therefore more vulnerable to other predators. According to Jennifer Rehage, associate professor at the Florida International University's Institute of the Environment,

it has been shown that pharmaceutical contaminants can affect all aspects of fish life, including their diet, activities, sociability, and migratory behaviour,

The university also said in its press release. With, in the long term, 'negative consequences for their reproduction and survival'

This article was translated from Gentside FR.

Sources used:

-Ouest France: Des poissons contenant des traces d’antidépresseurs inquiètent les scientifiques

-Curieux live: Les poissons prennent des antidépresseurs?

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