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Bioavailability and Performance Effects of Promethazine During Space Flight (PMZ)
04.26.13

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Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

Experiment Overview

This content was provided by Lakshmi Putcha, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Brief Summary

The Bioavailablity and Performance Effects of Promethazine During Spaceflight (PMZ) study aims to develop the scientific and technological foundations for a safe and productive human presence in long duration space exploration. The experiment will identify differences between ground-based and in-flight results in the availability and effects of promethazine - an antihistamine drug used to treat allergies or motion sickness.

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Lakshmi Putcha, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)

    Information Pending

    Developer(s)

    Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization

    Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

    Research Benefits

    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration:

    April 2005 - April 2008

    Expeditions Assigned

    11,13,15,16

    Previous ISS Missions

    This experiment began in 2001 and has flown on five shuttle missions.

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Promethazine (PMZ) is used to treat space motion sickness (SMS) during Shuttle missions. However, side effects associated with PMZ when used on Earth include dizziness, drowsiness, sedation, and impaired psychomotor performance, which could impact crew performance or mission operations. Early anecdotal reports from crewmembers indicate that these central nervous system side effects of PMZ are absent or greatly reduced in microgravity.


    • Therefore, systematic evaluation of PMZ bioavailability, effects on performance, side effects, and efficacy in the treatment of SMS are essential for determining optimal dosage and route of administration of PMZ during space flight.

    Description

    Promethazine (PMZ) is a pharmaceutical treatment for space motion sickness experienced by space shuttle astronauts. This investigation measured the amount of medication that is absorbed and available to the body after taking it in order to estimate the intensity of drug-related side effects that may affect performance of astronauts during space flights.

    For this investigation, two sessions were conducted: a ground-based and an in-flight session. The in-flight session involved astronauts that take Promethazine for motion sickness during their mission. To monitor the astronauts, Actiwatches were worn to monitor sleep and activity; saliva samples were provided in order to measure drug levels in the body; and Karolinska Sleepiness Score (KSS) was used to estimate sleepiness side effects. This data was compared to the postflight data was collected 30 days after return from their mission. Results from this study will be used to determine how Promethazine is handled by the body and how severe the performance- impacting side effects of the drug are on-orbit and on Earth.

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    This study will lead to a better understanding of how Promethazine is handled by the body in space. This will also help determine the side effects of Promethazine. By understanding these aspects of Promethazine, scientists will be able to optimize treatment of motion sickness in space and on the ground with Promethazine.

    Earth Applications

    This study may lead to more effective treatment for motion sickness.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    All astronauts onboard the Space Shuttle will wear an Actiwatch to monitor sleep activity. This monitor will be worn throughout the entire mission. For astronauts who elect to use Promethazine (PMZ) for space motion sickness, 8 saliva samples will be collected at specific time intervals and Karolinska Sleepiness Score (KSS) will be recorded at collection times. Saliva collection kits will be used. Thirty days after return to Earth, crewmembers that took PMZ during flight will repeat the protocol for the ground session. The round session will involve astronauts wearing the Actiwatch activity monitors, collecting 8 saliva samples, and completing KSS at saliva sampling times.

    Operational Protocols

    All astronauts participating in the PMZ investigation will wear an Actiwatch to monitor sleep activity throughout the entire mission. For astronauts who elect to use Promethazine (PMZ) for space motion sickness, 8 saliva samples will be collected at specific time intervals and Karolinska Sleepiness Score (KSS) will be recorded at collection times. Saliva collection kits will be used. Thirty days after return to Earth, crewmembers that took PMZ during flight will repeat the protocol for the ground session. The ground session will involve astronauts wearing the Actiwatch activity monitors, collecting 8 saliva samples, and completing KSS at saliva sampling times.

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    Results/More Information

    There are no results at this time. (Evans et al. 2009)

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    Related Websites

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    Imagery

    image The pack shown here contains the vials that will be used to collect saliva samples and to record the participating crew members' Karolinska Sleepiness Score (KSS). Image courtesy of NASA.
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    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Research-Helpline.