What molecule am I?
Sertraline, best known by the brand name Zoloft (Pfizer, New York City), is a venerable antidepressant that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1991. Its mode of action, common among antidepressants, is as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. The active ingredient in most of its formulations is its hydrochloride1.
Sertraline continues to be a frequently prescribed antidepressant (≈40 million prescriptions in 2019). But its success has come with an environmental cost: This year, a review by South African scientists Lawrence Mzukisi Madikizela* and Somandla Ncubeb cited dozens of drugs, including sertraline, that have been detected in marine organisms and seafood. This finding is a major concern for ocean life because of the aquatic toxicity statements shown in the hazard information table.
1. CAS Reg. No. 79559-97-0.
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