Original Articles: PDF OnlyGENDER DIFFERENCES IN DRUG THERAPYKhosla, Sandeep MD; Somberg, John C. MD*Author Information Department of Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Health Sciences, The Chicago Medical School, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL USA. * Address for correspondence: The Chicago Medical School, 3333 Green Bay Road. North Chicago, IL 60064, USA. American Journal of Therapeutics: October 1996 - Volume 3 - Issue 10 - p 735 Buy Abstract Patient response to drug therapy is affected by multiple factors, including age, renal function, diet, smoking, congestive heart failure and gender. However, the data on gender differences in pharmacotherapy are limited, predominantly because women are excluded from clinical research due to the potential risks involved during pregnancy and co-existing illnesses in elderly women. Currently some information is available on gender differences in drug therapy. Differences in drug distribution and response due to different body composition as well as the effects of hormonal differences are the few that have been documented. Differences in drug metabolism due to differences in blood concentration of enzymes such as alcohol dehydrogenase has been recently described. Pharmacotherapy may also have to be altered due to differences in disease expression, like increased vasomotor tone in women. Drug efficacy has been found to be affected by gender—an example is antiplatelet therapy for stroke prevention. Finally, the side effects of drugs may differ depending on gender. Those involved in pharmacotherapy should be aware of these differences when prescribing drugs to female patients, since the majority of clinical data regarding pharmaceuticals has been derived primarily from a population of young males. © Williams & Wilkins 1996. All Rights Reserved.