Assessing the effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of antidepressant mixtures to fathead minnows exposed over a full life cycle.


Water Science and Technology Directorate, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington, ON L7S 1A1, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


Antidepressant drugs have been detected in municipal wastewater effluents (MWWEs) at ng/L to low μg/L concentrations. We exposed fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) over a full lifecycle to a mixture of five antidepressants at concentrations similar to a MWWE (1× AntiD Mix); venlafaxine at 2400 ng/L, citalopram at 240 ng/L, fluoxetine at 90 ng/L, sertraline at 20 ng/L, and bupropion at 90 ng/L, and 10× these concentrations (i.e. 10× AntiD Mix). Mean measured concentrations of venlafaxine, citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, and bupropion were 2300, 160, 110, 7 ng/L, and below detection limits, respectively, for the 1× AntiD Mix, and 33,000, 2900, 1000, 210, and 100 ng/L, respectively for the 10× AntiD Mix. During the life-cycle exposure, no significant changes were observed in survival of fathead minnows. When male fish from the exposed treatments reached maturity, their weights were increased compared to control males. There were no significant differences in condition factor, gonadosomatic index, or liver-somatic index in the exposed fish. Exposed fathead minnows produced similar numbers of eggs as control fish, and there were no changes in nest-defense behaviours of male minnows. Egg quality, % fertilization, and % hatching in F1 fry were unaffected by exposure to the antidepressants. Eggs hatched 0.5 d earlier, deformities in fry were 50% lower, and there were transient decreases in length of F1 larvae at 8 days post-hatch in offspring from the treatment with the 10× AntiD Mix. Overall, exposure to the antidepressant mixture at environmentally relevant concentrations (i.e. 1× AntiD Mix) caused no adverse effects in fathead minnows. Exposure to the 10× AntiD Mix increased the weight of adult male minnows and caused subtle effects in F1 offspring. This study is the first to assess sublethal effects in fish exposed to mixtures of antidepressants over a full lifecycle. CAPSULE: No effects were observed in fathead minnow exposed for a lifecycle to antidepressant mixtures at environmentally-relevant concentrations.


Antidepressants,Fathead minnow,Lifecycle,Mixture,Municipal wastewater effluent,