Effects of three phamaceuticals on the responses of tadpoles to predator alarm cues

Michael J. Barry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to measure the effects of two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, fluoxetine and sertraline, and one selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, venlafaxine, on the swimming and lateralization behaviour of Sclerophrys arabica tadpoles exposed to predator alarm cues. Tadpoles were exposed to the three pharmaceuticals either at 0.5 µg/L or 2.0 µg/L, either individually or as a mixture for 14 days. Control tadpoles and those exposed to high concentration of drugs individually or as a mixture, and those exposed to the low-concertation mixture reduced their swimming speed. Tadpoles exposed to 0.5 µg/L fluoxetine or venlafaxine did not respond to the alarm cues. Tadpoles exposed to the mixture had similar responses to that of the control. Results indicate that these drugs have an additive mode of action. Tadpoles exposed to the low-concentration mixture increased lateralization of movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalToxicological and Environmental Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 7 2018


  • Tadpoles SSRIs
  • alarm cues
  • behaviour
  • lateralization
  • predator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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