Salinity-dependent impacts on the effects of antiepileptic and antihistaminic drugs in Ruditapes philippinarum

Abstract In coastal systems, pollutants as pharmaceutical drugs exert changes from the molecular to the organism level in marine bivalves. Besides pollutants, coastal systems are prone to changes in environmental parameters, as the alteration of salinity values because of Climate Change. Together, these stressors (pharmaceutical drugs and salinity changes) can exert different threats than each stressor acting individually; for example, salinity can change the physical-chemical properties of the drugs and/or the sensitivity of the organisms to them. However, limited information is available on this subject, with variable results, and for this reason, this study aimed to evaluate the impacts of salinity changes (15, 25 and 35) on the effects of the antiepileptic carbamazepine (CBZ, 1 μg/L) and the antihistamine cetirizine (CTZ, 0.6 μg/L), when acting individually and combined (CBZ + CTZ), in the edible clam Ruditapes philippinarum. After 28 days of exposure, drugs concentrations, bioconcentration factors and biochemical parameters, related to clam's metabolic capacity and oxidative stress were evaluated. The results showed that clams under low salinity suffered more changes in metabolic, antioxidant and biotransformation activities, in comparison with the remaining salinities under study. However, limited impacts were observed when comparing drug effects at low salinity. Indeed, it seemed that CTZ and CBZ + CTZ, under high salinity (salinity 35) were the worst exposure conditions for the clams, since they caused higher levels of cellular damage. It stands out that salinity changes altered the impact of pharmaceutical drugs on marine bivalves.
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