As part of their struggle to improve living conditions in outer space, researchers have stumbled upon another dilemma. Can space medication expire? This is the new mystery our scientist must unravel before the Mars mission can begin.
Although candidates, chosen to go into outer space, must submit themselves to some rigorous examinations, a couple of them would eventually come down with some sort of illness out there, in space. What can they do? The ISS is a long way from home and the trip alone wouldn’t benefit them.
Luckily, these brave men and women that endure the cold of space have a secret stash of medicine, with a wide-variety of purposes. The medical cabinet on board the ISS contains sleeping pills, antidiarrheal medicine, antihistamines for those with allergies, several painkillers and some substances used to sharpen the senses.
In order to see how space effects such as exposure to low-yielding radiations or microgravity affects the effectiveness of drugs aboard the ISS, a team of researchers from the Center of Space Medicine and Department of Pharmacology, conducted a couple of test on batches of medicine brought back from the ever popular space station.
After spending 550 days on the ISS, the drugs were packed and shipped back to Earth. So, how did space affected those drugs that are used to keep us in tip-top shape? According to the team of researchers, virtually every sample brought from out there, showed no sign of hasten degradation.
We all know that if you are not careful in how you store medicine, you might have the rather of unpleasant surprise of finding them expired. Environmental parameters such as prolonged sun exposure, high levels of humidity and inadequate containers can affect medicine.
Although a couple of the pills were worthless, meaning that they have expired, most of them passed the test with flying colors. When confronted with the issue “can space medication expire?”, researchers answered that it can, but a much slower rate. According to their findings, approximately 9 pills passed all United States standards regarding viability. Moreover, in Earth terms, the pills have been expired for over 9 months!
The result are encouraging, but the team of scientists declared that they need more proof in order to see if this is an isolated incident or not. Meanwhile, preparations for the trip to Mars are on the way and the struggle to set up the next space race is taking its toll on all sides. While NASA is trying to come up with new propulsion technology, medical researchers are struggling to come up with the way to safely store medicine on board.