This work characterizes a new methodologic and pharmacologic approach to control terrestrial and space motion sickness (SMS). The experimental design allowed separate evaluation of drug action on susceptibility and adaptability, and used repeated measures to approximate the chronic stressful motion of microgravity. Daily exposure to cross-coupled angular acceleration for 5 consecutive days demonstrated that the efficacy of doxepin and scopolamine plus amphetamine in the prevention of autonomic system dysfunction was not only apparent on the first test day (P < .01), but was also evident in the substantially enhanced resistance developed over the 5- day test period (P < .01) as compared with placebo. This indicates that daily use of these medications does not diminish therapeutic efficacy (tolerance). The efficacy of doxepin was anticipated because it possesses pharmacologic properties similar to those of established anti-motion sickness drugs. Comparable efficacy after doxepin loading for 4 hours, 3 days, or 21 days suggests a mechanism distinct from its antidepressant effects, possibly related to its potent antihistaminergic actions. Use of doxepin has operational significance to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in comparison with current preparations of scopolamine plus amphetamine, because of doxepin's minimal impact on cognitive performance, and most importantly, its favorable pharmacokinetic profile, particularly its long half-life.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Pharmacology|
|State||Published - 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)