Fluoxetine inhibits predator avoidance behavior in tadpoles

Michael J. Barry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor used to treat anxiety and depression in humans. It has been detected as a contaminant in the surface waters in many countries. The effects of fluoxetine (0, 0.03, 0.3, and 3 μg L−1) on the swimming and behavioral responses of Bufo arabicus tadpoles to alarm chemicals from predatory dragonfly larvae (Anax imperator) were measured. Fluoxetine significantly reduced swimming speed at 0.3 and 3 μg L−1in the absence of predator alarm chemicals but had no effect in their presence. Tadpoles exposed to predator alarm chemicals avoided open water and preferred to hide. Exposure to fluoxetine at 3 μg L−1completely eliminated this predator avoidance response, making the tadpoles more vulnerable to predation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-649
Number of pages9
JournalToxicological and Environmental Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2014


  • Bufo arabicus tadpole
  • fluoxetine 5-HT
  • predator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluoxetine inhibits predator avoidance behavior in tadpoles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this