Occurrence of antidepressant residues in the sewage-impacted Vistula and Utrata rivers and in tap water in Warsaw (Poland).

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety

PubMedID: 24636953

Giebultowicz J, Nalecz-Jawecki G. Occurrence of antidepressant residues in the sewage-impacted Vistula and Utrata rivers and in tap water in Warsaw (Poland). Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2014;104C103-109.
Antidepressants, even at low concentrations, can reveal some adverse effects on aquatic life due to disturbing homeostasis throughout the central and peripheral nervous system both in vertebrates and invertebrates. To date there have not been any reports regarding the presence of these pharmaceuticals in surface and tap waters in Eastern Europe. Therefore the aim of this study was to determine the presence of 21 antidepressant pharmaceuticals at specific points of the main Polish river - the Vistula, a smaller river of the Warsaw region - the Utrata, as well as in tap water samples of Warsaw. Samples were collected twice at one month intervals and analysed using solid-phase extraction (SPE) technique coupled with the liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation-tandem mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS) method operated under the multiple reaction monitoring mode (MRM). This is the first study where active compounds such as moclobemid or trazodone in the environment have been investigated. Environmental risk assessment of antidepressants in Poland was estimated on the basis of annuals sale data extracted from the NFZ (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia-National Health Service) base of reimbursed pharmaceuticals(1). Predicted environmental concentration (PEC) of target pharmaceuticals were compared with their measured concentration (MEC). Moreover, the application of the EMEA/CHMP guideline for environmental risk assessment of the antidepressants was discussed. The highest concentration of antidepressants was observed in the small river Utrata. In tap water only trace amounts of antidepressants including citalopram (up to 1.5ng/l), mianserin (up to 0.9ng/l), sertraline (<3.1ng/l), moclobemid (up to 0.3ng/l) and venlafaxine (up to 1.9ng/l) were detected. However this highlights their inadequate elimination in the drinking waste treatment facility. The presence of antidepressants in drinking water and the aquatic environment could have long-term effects even at low exposure level, especially since synergy amongst pharmaceutical pollutants may occur.