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Astronauts With Motion Sickness To Get Help From NASA-developed Nasal Spray

October 13, 2012
Image Caption: Astronaut Bruce McCandless II using a Manned Maneuvering Unit outside the United States Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. Credit: NASA

April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Motion sickness can affect nearly anyone, in a variety of situations from car rides to amusement park attractions to airplanes. Astronauts often find themselves experiencing motion sickness in space.

To combat motion sickness, NASA developed a fast-acting nasal spray that will now be developed and commercialized due to an agreement signed between NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Epiomed Therapeutics Inc.

Epiomed will formulate the drug, called intranasal scopolamine (INSCOP), under the Space Act Agreement. Because the problem of motion sickness is so bad for astronauts, NASA conducted extensive research to determine causes and treatments for the condition. They found that scopolamine is very effective and can be administered as a tablet or an injection. NASA’s spray formulation has a precise dosage and has been shown to work more quickly and more reliably than the tablet form.

“NASA and Epiomed will work closely together on further development of INSCOP to optimize therapeutic efficiency for both acute and chronic treatment of motion sickness which can be used by NASA, the Department of Defense and world travelers on land, in the air and on the seas,” said Lakshmi Putcha, developer of the innovative treatment strategy at Johnson.

Under an earlier Space Act Agreement between Johnson and the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory a gel formulation of INSCOP was developed and tested. The findings of this testing, published in Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, suggests that INSCOP is a fast-acting and reliable way to prevent and treat motion sickness.

Epiomed and the U.S. Navy are working on an agreement to test the nasal spray. To meet the Federal Drug Administration requirements, NASA and Epiomed will collaborate on the clinical trials. Sponsorship of future clinical trials and FDA approvals will be transferred from NASA to Epiomed. Epiomed will supply the product for use by NASA and others.


Source: April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online



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