DID YOU KNOW? Drugs work differently for women!

DID YOU KNOW? Drugs work differently for women!


Not only can the course of diseases differ between men and women - so can the effect of medications. But research is lagging behind on this topic.
If your husband has ever had the famous man cold, you know how miserably our loved ones can suffer. But the phenomenon is no coincidence: studies show that there really is something to men's colds. In general, many illnesses run differently for men and women - and not just in terms of their severity. But just as the course of the disease can be different, the effect of medications also differs between men and women.

This is why medications work differently for women than for men.

There are several reasons for this:

Body fat percentage and size: Women have a higher body fat percentage than men and are generally smaller - this means that active ingredients from medications are distributed in the tissue at different rates.

Enzymes as activators: Enzymes in the body ensure that active ingredients from medications can be absorbed in the first place. The problem: Men and women usually have different numbers of enzymes.

Side effects: Side effects occur more often in women than in men.

Path of the tablet: The effect of different tablets is also often needed in different places in the body. But often the tablets take different amounts of time to travel through the body in men and women.

Research treads water

And why aren't more studies simply being done with women to make treatments gender-specific? There are two main reasons: First, drug trials are usually done on healthy volunteers - and most of them are young men. Second, the so-called thalidomide scandal had a long-lasting effect: In the 1950s and 1960s, a seemingly harmless sleep drug was tested on pregnant women. 

In many test subjects, he drug damaged the unborn child - the babies were born with mutilated arms, legs or ears. In some babies, the damage was so severe that they died shortly after birth. After that, pharmaceutical manufacturers were less willing to include women in their studies for a long time.

Now German law requires that drugs that can be used by both sexes must also be tested by men and women. And that is sorely needed: after all, studies have shown that different dosages of drugs often have to be used in women compared with men.

And it generally makes sense to have medications tested by all population groups that will later use them. This includes young and old women as well as men. Tip: Women should make sure to inform their doctor in case of noticeably strong side effects caused by medication and determine the right dose together with him.

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