Some of the pharmaceuticals stored on space flights may have shorter shelf-life than they do on Earth, says a new study.
The medications intended for the treatment of minor illnesses of astronauts in space may require special packaging and reformulation to remain stable for long periods in the space environment, according to scientists from NASA, Johnson Space Centre.
Putcha and her colleagues investigated whether pharmaceuticals undergo degradation in space and, if so, which environmental variables in space may affect the stability of the medications in space.
They compared physical and chemical changes in 35 formulations contained in identical pharmaceutical kits stowed on the International Space Station (ISS) and on Earth.
After stowage for 28 months in space, they found that a higher percentage of the medications from each flight kit had a lower active pharmaceutical content than the controls on the ground.
They also saw no variation in the temperature or humidity levels between Earth and in space.
The study scientists suggested that exposure to the chronic low dose of ionizing radiation as well as repackaging of solid medications may be contributing factors for pharmaceutical stability in space.
The findings were published online in AAPS Journal.