Happy As a Clam
Prozac Ingredient Found to Accumulate in Fish
Traces of the antidepressant Prozac have been found in fish in central Texas, according to first-of-its-kind research conducted by scientists at Baylor University. Fluoxetine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in Prozac, likely made its way into the fish tissue after passing through human bodies, through the sewer system, and then through a wastewater treatment plant that makes large discharges into local waterways. Antidepressants relax fish in somewhat the same way they relax people, said toxicologist Bryan Brooks, who led the study. “Maybe it makes you a happy fish and you’re kind of hanging out,” Brooks said. “But how does that influence your ability to capture prey? Do you instantly become candy for largemouth bass because you’re accumulating large amounts of Prozac in your system?” The research also raises questions about whether antidepressants could contaminate drinking water.