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Risk of Ineffective or Toxic Medications During Long-Duration Exploration Spaceflight


astronauts train for a medical emergency aboard the ISS
Expedition 65 Flight Engineers (clockwise from left) Thomas Pesquet, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur train for a medical emergency aboard the International Space Station. Pesquet and Kimbrough review medical hardware while McArthur practices chest compressions, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in the weightless environment of the orbiting lab.

In spaceflight, pharmaceuticals and medications are used for various purposes, namely medical treatment and countermeasures. The hazards of spaceflight lead to a host of factors that must be considered when choosing treatment options. Spaceflight factors and time to resupply can lead to toxic or ineffective products. In addition, due to physiological changes due to spaceflight, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics may differ from that known terrestrially. These changes, along with vehicle features, may cause the performance and efficacy of in-mission medical supplies to be different than what would be expected on Earth.

Directed Acyclic Graph Files

+ DAG File Information (HSRB Home Page)

+ Ineffective or Toxic Medications DAG and Narrative (PDF)

+ Ineffective or Toxic Medications Risk DAG Code (TXT)

Human Research Roadmap

+ Risk of Cardiovascular Adaptations

+ 2011 August Evidence Report (PDF)



Last Updated
Sep 27, 2023
Robert E. Lewis