Titled “Growth and development of tadpoles (Xenopus laevis) exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, fluoxetine and sertraline, throughout metamorphosis.,” an article by D.E. Conners and a team from The Department of Environmental Health Science at University of Georgia has demonstrated that Prozac and Zoloft in the water supply can inhibit the development of tadpoles.  While many other researchers have demonstrated that these SSRI drugs cross the human placenta during gestation, imagine what they can do to a developing fetus.  (Actually, you don’t have to imagine it, there are hundreds of peer-reviewed articles out there that show exposure to SSRI drugs is linked to birth defects.  Summaries of many of those articles are available by following the preceding link.)  This present article appeared in the December, 2009 of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

The team writes, “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely prescribed drugs that are present in sewage effluents and surface waters. The objective of the present study was to determine whether low environmentally relevant concentrations of the SSRIs fluoxetine and sertraline could impair growth and development in tadpoles of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and to evaluate if such effects may be caused by a disruption of the neuroendocrine system.”

Results showed that “Tadpoles were exposed to SSRIs at concentrations of 0.1, 1, and 10 microg/L for 70 d throughout metamorphosis. … Tadpoles exposed to fluoxetine (10 microg/L) and sertraline (0.1, 1, and 10 microg/L) exhibited reduced growth at metamorphosis. Tadpoles exposed to sertraline (0.1 and 1 microg/L) exhibited an acceleration of development as indicated by an increase in the time to tail resorption.”

Conners believes that “The effects of SSRIs on growth and development in tadpoles were likely driven by reduced food intake,” because “Reduced feeding rates were observed in SSRI-exposed tadpoles, and nutritional status can influence growth and development in amphibians via effects on the neuroendocrine system.”

Importantly, it is noted that only Zoloft (sertraline) “was capable of causing developmental toxicity in tadpoles at environmentally relevant concentrations.”  As such, the team concluded that “These data warrant additional research to characterize the risks to human health and wildlife from pharmaceutical exposures.”

If you or a loved one used Prozac (fluoxetine) or Zoloft (sertraline) and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation or who had perinatal complications, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Prozac® birth defect lawyers and Zoloft® birth defects lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

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Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.