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Pharm Res. 2019 Aug 14;36(10):148. doi: 10.1007/s11095-019-2679-3.

Medications in Space: In Search of a Pharmacologist's Guide to the Galaxy.

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Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ein Kerem, 91120, Jerusalem, Israel.
Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32610-0494, USA.


Medications have been used during space missions for more than half a century, yet our understanding of the effects of spaceflight on drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics is poor. The space environment induces time-dependent alterations in human physiology that include fluid shifts, cardiovascular deconditioning, bone and muscle density loss, and impaired immunity. This review presents the current knowledge on the physiological effects of spaceflight that can translate into altered drug disposition and activity and eventually to inadequate treatment. It describes findings from studies in astronauts along with mechanistic studies in animal models and in vitro systems. Future missions into deeper space and the emergence of commercial spaceflight will require a more detailed understanding of space pharmacology to optimize treatment in astronauts and space travelers.


international space station; microgravity; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; spaceflight

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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