Surprise: Men and Women are Different

Women have hormonal cycles, smaller organs, higher body fat composition — all of which are thought to play a role in how drugs affect our bodies. We also have basic differences in gene expression, which can make differences in the way we metabolize drugs. For example, men metabolize caffeine more quickly, while women metabolize certain antibiotics and anxiety medications more quickly. In some cases, drugs work less effectively depending on sex; women are less responsive to anesthesia and ibuprofen for instance. In other cases, women are at more risk for adverse — even lethal — side effects.

Source: The New York Times.

Comments (10)

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  1. Juan says:

    Men are from Mars, women are from Venus

  2. CBrady says:

    Makes sense

  3. Landon George ‘Barnwell’ Tate says:

    Pffffft…women! But seriously, why does it always have to be about gender? I suppose the next headline will say heterosexuals react to drugs differently than homosexuals or blacks are more prone to side effects than latinos. I understand why this is important for doctors and medical pratitioners but I don’t understand why this is news! Duh! Of course men and women are different, silly NYT writer!

  4. Kyle says:

    This applies to individuals as well. Drs. don’t bother taking note of idiosyncrasies, even when they are told by patients. People with abnormally fast metabolisms, for example, are often left un-medicated for hours.

  5. Pam says:

    Technically, you are incorrect. It is not about gender, it is about sex. Sex is how we are biologically born and is determined by what set of organs we have. Gender is a sociological term that references how we identify ourselves. This article is saying that a person’s sex can have an effect on how medication is metabolized.

  6. Harley says:

    Applying medications to patients who are outliers to clinical control and experimental groups is another hazard. Genetics aside — returning vets with PTSD are often given medications which (it turns out a decade later) produce wild side effects when metabolized by individuals with traumatic brain injuries.

    So those guys who have both PTSD and multiple TBIs — too bad for you. You’re just crazy, it couldn’t possibly be an institutional failure.

    Not all Doctors, but many, are no better than hardliners in any other field.

  7. Desai says:

    Research also shows that women are more likely to get breast cancer than men. However, men are more likely to get prostate cancer than women, I am surprised that the NY times didn’t include this in the article.

  8. Gabriel Odom says:

    @ Desai: LOL

    ” A review published in the Journal of Pain in 2009 found that women faced a substantially greater risk of developing pain conditions. They are twice as likely to have multiple sclerosis, two to three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and four times more likely to have chronic fatigue syndrome than men.”

    This is interesting. I wonder if anesthesiologists are aware of these differences. After all, their job is to chemically induce a coma.

  9. Jordan says:

    Such an interesting post. I had a conversation with my wife last night regarding our caffeine intake. She is absolutely obsessed with coffee…she drinks it literally all day every day, after every meal, two cups every 30 mins. A while back she started having problems with her matabolism, and started to gain weight really fast…not saying that this was because of the coffee. But as we visited our docotr, we found out that her massive intake of caffeine had made her metabolism slow down so much, and it was making her sick.
    For me, I don’t have that problem with caffeine. I drink a lot of coffee throughout the day too, and I’ve never had a problem with it. This study really explains me why. Thanks!

  10. Billy Scar says:

    Women are one interesting species!