Antibiotic resistance in bacteria induced by antidepressant drugs

While antibiotic resistance in bacteria is often attributed to overuse of antibiotics, researchers have found a new cause of resistance: antidepressants. A laboratory study conducted by Jianhua Guo and his team at the Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology, University of Queensland in Brisbane has shown that it takes only a few days of exposure to antidepressant drugs to induce resistance in bacteria to multiple antibiotics. The group had previously reported that the bacteria E. coli acquired resistance to multiple antibiotics after being exposed to a commonly used antidepressant, fluoxetine (sold as Prozac). Their current study involved five other antidepressants and 13 different antibiotics to study resistance in the bacteria. While antibiotic resistance in a significant threat to public health, the rising number of resistance-inducing antibiotic and non-antibiotic drugs is a grave concern. However, researchers have cautioned people against stopping their antidepressant doses based on the current research.


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