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Bioaccumulation, uptake, and toxicity of carbamazepine in soil-plant systems.



Type of Spiritual Experience



Carbamazepine (CBZ), sold under the tradename Tegretol, among others, is a medication used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain.

It is not effective for absence seizures or myoclonic seizures.

It is used in schizophrenia along with other medications and as a second-line agent in bipolar disorder.

Common side effects include nausea and drowsiness. Serious side effects may include skin rashes, decreased bone marrow function, suicidal thoughts, or confusion. It should not be used in those with a history of bone marrow problems. Use during pregnancy may cause harm to the baby.  Its use during breastfeeding is 'not recommended'. 'Care' should be taken in those with either kidney or liver problems


Why should this drug be on the soil?  Some countries use  reclaimed wastewater which is not cleaned for all the drugs now prescribed, as a source of irrigation

A description of the experience

Environ Toxicol Chem. 2018 Apr;37(4):1122-1130. doi: 10.1002/etc.4053. Epub 2018 Feb 5.
Bioaccumulation, uptake, and toxicity of carbamazepine in soil-plant systems.
Knight ER1,2, Carter LJ2,3, McLaughlin MJ1,2.
Author information
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Faculty of Sciences, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Land and Water, Waite Campus, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
Environment Department, University of York, York, United Kingdom.

Since the detection of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in various environmental media, research has explored the potential uptake and toxicity of these chemicals to species inhabiting these matrices. Specifically, pharmaceuticals, including the antiepileptic API carbamazepine (CBZ), are taken up from soil by a range of plants.

Many short-term studies have also suggested that certain APIs induce toxicity in plants. However, the effects of APIs on fruiting plants remain relatively unexplored. The present study investigated the uptake, bioaccumulation, and toxicity of CBZ in Cucurbita pepo (zucchini) from seed to full maturity across a range of CBZ exposure concentrations in soil (0.1-20 mg/kg).

Results of biomass, chlorophyll, starch and total nitrogen (N) concentration in C. pepo indicated toxicity at soil concentrations of ≥10 mg/kg. There were clear visual indications of increasing toxicity on leaves, including chlorosis and necrosis, from soil concentrations of 1 up to 20 mg/kg. The present study also revealed novel insights into the effect of CBZ accumulation on C. pepo fruiting: female C. pepo flowers were unable to set fruit when leaf concentrations were ≥14 mg/kg.

These findings may have implications for future agricultural productivity in areas where reclaimed wastewater containing APIs is a source of irrigation. Detectable CBZ concentrations were found in edible C. pepo fruit, indicating the possibility of trophic transfer.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2018;37:1122-1130.

© 2017 SETAC.
Chlorophyll; Cucurbita pepo (zucchini); Organic contaminants; Pharmaceuticals; Plant toxicity; Starch

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