Sex Does Matter When it Comes to Prescription Drugs

Joe DeBons, Valmed Pharmacist
Joe DeBons, Valmed Pharmacist

Women have more negative side effects from medication than men.

A new study says 8 out of 10 drugs were pulled from the market because of the adverse affect they had on women.  Doctors say that a lot of prescription drugs available now were only tested on men. It wasn't until 1993 that women started to be a part of the Food and Drug Administration's clinical trials for drug approvals, and it takes 12 years from start to finish to get a new drug approved.

So the major differences in the physiological make-up's between men and women were not taken into account when producing the medication. Doctors say the drugs prescribed to woman aren't necessarily harmful to them, but just not as effective.

"Pain medications, women tend not to respond to pain medications as well as their male counterparts, so there's some issues with anaesthesia in women." said Dr. Marjorie Jenkins, Chief of the Women's Health clinic at Texas Tech.

Some prescription medication is under fire, because doctors say woman may not be getting the effective treatment they should. So research is being done to make prescription drugs more gender specific.

Pharmacist say they aren't seeing much of a change in the prescriptions they are filling for men opposed to women in Amarillo. They say they do know men and women metabolize drugs differently, but actually having gender specific drugs for certain diseases, we aren't quite there yet, but are headed there in the near future.

"I think what we're going to see is drugs designed and tailored for men, for women and given to that patient group and we'll have a more effective outcome of giving them that particular drug that they've developed."  said Joe DeBons a Pharmacist at Valmed.

It takes 12 years to get a drug approved by the food and drug administration. So doctors and pharmacist agree we should start seeing new drugs designed for women very soon. Doctors encourage female patients to speak with their physicians about options that are currently available.