Medicines for Astronauts Less Effective in Space?
"Medications used to treat astronauts in zero gravity might not work as well as they do on Earth."
SPACE.com Download time: Apr 20 2011 8:50 AM ET
Medications used to treat astronauts in space may not work as well as they do on Earth because of the nature of human spaceflight, a new study finds.
The drugs appear to lose some of their potency in space, possibly because they are exposed to the unique elements of space travel, including increased radiation and excess vibrations, researchers said. Future studies should work to develop special packaging and formulations of medications in order to ensure they do not degrade when they are in space for long periods, they added.
"This is a first step toward preparing for future, beyond low earth orbit flights," study researcher Lakshmi Putcha, of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Astronauts may require medications in space to treat minor illnesses, such as aches and pains, motion sickness and sleeping problems. Drugs sent into space are packed into special containers certified for flight and stored in flight kits.…
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