A study finds that antidepressants may cause antibiotic resistance

A key ingredient in common antidepressants could be to blame

The University of Queensland (UQ) has discovered a key ingredient in common antidepressants – such as Prozac – could be causing antibiotic resistance.

A recent UQ study conducted research and experiments on fluoxetine, a prescription drug primarily used to help people on their road to recovery from eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression.

What were the results?

The lead of the study, Dr Jianhua Guo, said that although the major factor contributing to ‘superbugs’ was overuse or misuse of antibiotics, it was unknown whether non-antibiotic pharmaceuticals would also cause a resistance to antibiotics.

A previous study by Dr Guo reported that: “triclosan, a common ingredient in toothpaste and handwash can directly induce antibiotic resistance.

“We also wondered whether other non-antibiotic pharmaceuticals such as fluoxetine can directly induce antibiotic resistance.”

What does this discovery mean?

Dr Guo says that almost 11% of the fluoxetine that a patient receives will remain unchanged and exit the body via urination.

“This discovery provides strong evidence that fluoxetine directly causes multi-antibiotic resistance via genetic mutation,” Dr Guo said.

Though, fellow researcher Dr Min Jin said more research is needed to investigate further.

“Further work is required to investigate effects of fluoxetine on antibiotic resistome in human gut microbiota,” Dr Jin said.

“It has previously been an invisible factor in the spread of antibiotic resistance, but we should consider this a warning.”

The experts at House Call Doctor warn if you are in need of antibiotics or antidepressants, make sure to seek medical advice from a doctor.

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