1-Feb-13 8:00 AM  CST

Gender Differences in the Way Medications Work

Pharmacy technicians know drugs work differently on individuals based on a variety of factors such as age, weight, individual condition, and disease state.  According to a pharmaceutical paper titled “Sex-Based Differences in Drug Activity” by Heather P. Whitley published on the American Academy of Family Physicians web site, women are 50 to 75 percent more likely than men to have an adverse reaction to a particular medication. 
Some of the most common drugs women are most sensitive to are: 
  • Antidepressants 
  • Antipsychotics
  • Opioids 
  • Beta Blockers 
  • Aspirin 
  • Antibiotics 
  • Sleeping Pills
Some of the reasons why drugs work differently on women than men are because of variances in absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.  Due to these differences, women may need to be given an adjusted dose of a medication (more or less depending on the drug and the way the drug should be prescribed), take the medication at different times of the day or night, or take the medication with or without food and/or drink.  There are so many varying factors in what medication will work correctly for a patient that is it extremely important for the pharmacy technician to know their medication, keep patient information databases current, and be a check system for their pharmacist to help reduce medication errors that can lead to serious illness, harm, or death. 

1.  Rabin, Roni Caryn.  “The Drug-Dose Gender Gap.”  NY Times.  Web.  28 Jan 2013.        

2.  Whitley, Heather.  “Sex-based Differences in Drug Activity.”  American Academy of Family Physicians.  Web.  1 Dec 2009.  Date of Access:  30 Jan 2013.              

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
Source: NPTAnews  

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