Study: Fish have bad reaction to anti-anxiety drug

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Associated Press

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 14 at 3:04 PM

BOSTON (AP) — A new study shows that fish swimming in water with mere traces of an anti-anxiety drug become hyper, antisocial and aggressive -- and even get the munchies.

The research adds to mounting evidence that medicines that get into rivers and streams can alter the biology and behavior of fish and other marine animals.

In the study, Swedish researchers exposed fish to a drug called oxazepam (ox-A-ze-pam). They used the kind of very low concentrations of drugs found in waterways. The findings suggest that the drug-induced changes could threaten fish populations and perhaps upset marine environments.

Scores of drugs reach waterways around the world after they pass unmetabolized through the bodies of people and get flushed into waste water systems. The study was released online Thursday in the journal Science.

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