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Comparison of Measured and Predicted Bioconcentration Estimates of Pharmaceuticals in Fish Plasma and Prediction of Chronic Risk

Nallani, Gopinath, Venables, Barney, Constantine, Lisa, Huggett, Duane
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2016 v.96 no.5 pp. 580-584
European Union, active ingredients, bioaccumulation factor, ecotoxicology, environmental assessment, fish, humans, ibuprofen, models, pH, prediction, prioritization, risk, verapamil
Evaluation of the environmental risk of human pharmaceuticals is now a mandatory component in all new drug applications submitted for approval in EU. With >3000 drugs currently in use, it is not feasible to test each active ingredient, so prioritization is key. A recent review has listed nine prioritization approaches including the fish plasma model (FPM). The present paper focuses on comparison of measured and predicted fish plasma bioconcentration factors (BCFs) of four common over-the-counter/prescribed pharmaceuticals: norethindrone (NET), ibuprofen (IBU), verapamil (VER) and clozapine (CLZ). The measured data were obtained from the earlier published fish BCF studies. The measured BCF estimates of NET, IBU, VER and CLZ were 13.4, 1.4, 0.7 and 31.2, while the corresponding predicted BCFs (based log Kₒw at pH 7) were 19, 1.0, 7.6 and 30, respectively. These results indicate that the predicted BCFs matched well the measured values. The BCF estimates were used to calculate the human: fish plasma concentration ratios of each drug to predict potential risk to fish. The plasma ratio results show the following order of risk potential for fish: NET > CLZ > VER > IBU. The FPM has value in prioritizing pharmaceutical products for ecotoxicological assessments.