Anti-depressant Prozac inhibits sex drive in fish: study

Sep 21, 2010

The popular anti-depressant Prozac can inhibit sexual activity in fish if it seeps into waterways, according to a Canadian study published Tuesday.

Led by Vance Trudeau and Tom Moon of Ottawa University's biology department, researchers found that male exposed to Prozac did not respond to sexual advances.

In nature, female goldfish release chemicals called pheromones to indicate to males that they are ready to mate.

Male fish would normally detect the chemicals just as humans smell odors, and then stimulated to breed with the females would release their sperm to fertilize the eggs.

But the male goldfish exposed to Prozac did not respond to the and so did not release their sperm.

"Even when the potent female sex pheromone was in the water, male goldfish exposed to Prozac did not release sperm and therefore could not breed," Trudeau said in a statement.

The study was published in the journal Aquatic Toxicology.

In an earlier study, the same researchers found that high doses of fluoxetine, the active chemical in Prozac, not only destabilized sex hormone levels in female goldfish, but also slashed in the blood.

"As these effects of Prozac are found in both male and female fish, we must now consider Prozac-like pharmaceutical products as that cause sexual dysfunction in fish," Trudeau concluded, noting the drug has been detected in sewage effluents around the world where it is sold.

is taken by more than 54 million people worldwide.

Explore further: Thai Airways bans shark fin from cargo flights

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

When mice choose mates, experience counts

Mar 21, 2006

Choosing a mate is a big decision. And, at least for mice, it's one that is best made with input from one's peers. In a series of experiments designed help scientists understand the brain chemicals that guide ...

Recommended for you

Brother of Hibiscus is found alive and well on Maui

5 hours ago

Most people are familiar with Hibiscus flowers- they are an iconic symbol of tropical resorts worldwide where they are commonly planted in the landscape. Some, like Hawaii's State Flower- Hibiscus brackenridgei- are en ...

Boat noise impacts development and survival of sea hares

8 hours ago

While previous studies have shown that marine noise can affect animal movement and communication, with unknown ecological consequences, scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter and the École Pratique des Hautes ...

Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model

Jul 30, 2014

Inspired by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, collaborators from the University of Illinois and National University of Singapore improved a 35-year-old ecology model to better understand how species ...

Saving seeds the right way can save the world's plants

Jul 30, 2014

Exotic pests, shrinking ranges and a changing climate threaten some of the world's most rare and ecologically important plants, and so conservationists establish seed collections to save the seeds in banks ...

User comments : 0