The T-value in the score for hazard refers to chronic toxicity. Underlying data for P, B and T are from Fass.se, see below.
Citalopram is a racemate of which one of the enantiomers, escitalopram (S-form), has the pharmacological effect. In assessing the total environmental risk the quantity of sold citalopram should also be taken into account.
Concentrations in the environment in Sweden for several SSRI/SNRIs exceed the reported effect concentrations, especially for invertebrates. However, studies reporting the very lowest effect concentrations are questioned. Levels of citalopram in fish exposed to treated wastewater are equivalent to therapeutic levels in humans.
Citalopram has been detected in treated wastewater, surface water, drinking water and fish in Stockholm County. (The laboratory analysis does not distinguish between the different enantiomers.) Citalopram is included in the Stockholm County Council's table of pharmaceuticals with a negative environmental impact according to the environmental programme 2017–2021 based on lowest effect concentration, LOEC = 150 ng/L, and concentrations found in the environment.
In the Wise list is escitalopram recommended. Environmental classification of pharmaceuticals is taken into consideration, sometimes with other environmental aspects, when selecting pharmaceuticals for the Wise list. When comparable pharmaceuticals are equivalent to medical effects, safety and pharmaceutical efficacy, environmental impact and price are considered.
Fass environmental information for Escitalopram Actavis (downloaded 2017-05-30).
Persistence: (OECD 308): "DT50 (total system) = 89.3 days (system A) and 39.5."
Bioaccumulation: Log Kow = 1.04 at pH 7.
Chronic toxicity: There is NOEC for 3 trophic levels, lowest NOEC for fish (Pimephales promelas) 26.8 microg/L.
PEC/PNEC is based on sales data in Sweden in year 2011. PEC/PNEC = 0.011which gives the risk insignificant, i.e. consideration has not been given to measured levels in the environment.
No new environmental information has been found on Fass.se (2018-07-10). It is voluntary for manufacturers to provide information about environmental impact on fass.se.
Concrete proposals on how to work to reduce emissions of environmentally harmful pharmaceuticals on the list have been developed in close cooperation with the Stockholm Drug and Therapeutics Committee's expert advice. The action proposals were developed from an environmental perspective. The patient's best always goes first and several pharmaceuticals on the list are also included in the Wise list. However, for such pharmaceuticals, there may be measures that could reduce the environmental impact.
Concrete proposal for escitalopram and citalopram
Comparative assessment of environmental risk in the use of citalopram, escitalopram, sertraline, fluoxetine, venlafaxine, paroxetine and clomipramine in Sweden.
Overall, there is a risk profile for the studied antidepressants.
Author: The Pharmaceutical unit of Region Stockholm