Antianxiety drugs affect fish, too | Science News

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Antianxiety drugs affect fish, too

Perch swim more and eat faster when exposed to concentrations similar to those in rivers

By
1:54pm, February 14, 2013

Fish let their inhibitions go when exposed to a common antianxiety medication, a new study shows. Perch living in water spiked with the drug became bolder, less social and more active than unexposed fish. They also ate much faster.

These behavioral changes could make fish living in wastewater-polluted rivers more vulnerable to predators, the researchers argue in the Feb. 15 Science. And their speedy eating could disrupt the food chain.

Fish and other aquatic animals ingest a variety of pharmaceuticals that end up in the environment. People excrete drugs and flush unused pills down the toilet. Since wastewater treatment plants don’t filter these compounds out of sewage, t

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