Drugs tested for long space exposure found to be the same as exposure on Earth.
Scientists running a series of tests on drugs aboard the International Space Station (ISS) say they are no problems with the effectiveness of drugs exposed to long periods in space.
A report on upi.com, says that scientists evaluated a number of medications, including sleeping aids, pain relievers, antihistamines, an anti-diarrheal medicine, and an alertness drug,and the medicines showed no accelerated degradation due to being in space.
The drugs in the test spent 550 days aboard the ISS, because scientists were worried the increased radiation or micro-gravity, or both, may have caused the medicines to degrade more rapidly. All drugs lose their effectiveness over time, but those tested did not deteriorate any more quickly than had they been on Earth.
The temperature and humidity of the ISS is similar to that on Earth, but the researchers wanted to evaluate the additional factors that are involved with space travel.
The scientists who evaluated the drugs were from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas,which is home to the Center for Space Medicine and Department of Pharmacology. The object of the study was to determine what medicines would be safe to send along with astronauts on a deep-space mission.
The researchers caution that much more work is needed before any pronouncements can be made. They also warned against using this new information to make judgements about other types of medications that may be taken along with the space travelers.
Medications are just one of the many factors that must be investigated before any attempts to send humans to Mars or other deep-space locations. It would be assumed the body would have to face many of the same illnesses that humans face on Earth, even if communicable diseases would be unlikely. Astronauts would still face sore muscles and aches and pains, just as most people do.
Findings from the research were published in The AAPS Journal.