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Pharmacology in space. Part 1. Influence of adaptive changes on pharmacokinetics.

The topic of pharmacology in space, i.e. the administration of drugs during space flight and the subsequent pharmacokinetic handling of the pharmaceuticals, is a new field about which little is known. In a two-part series, Claire Lathers and colleagues highlight some of the current questions in this field. In this first article the physiological and biochemical changes associated with weightlessness in space are discussed. These changes induce adaptive alterations which may influence the pharmacokinetic properties of drugs. The cardiovascular system is of particular relevance here. Also discussed are the classes of pharmacological agent that are most likely to be used during space flight for medical problems and thus, by necessity, will become drugs to be examined in space to determine whether their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties are altered. Therapy of the most common spaceflight ailment-motion sickness-will be considered next month in Part 2.[1]


  1. Pharmacology in space. Part 1. Influence of adaptive changes on pharmacokinetics. Lathers, C.M., Charles, J.B., Bungo, M.W. Trends Pharmacol. Sci. (1989) [Pubmed]
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