Adverse drug reactions overly affect women. Here’s why.

Females are not just “smaller versions” of males. Drug reactions in women are unlikely to be alleviated simply by adjusting the dose to one’s body weight. Photo: Pexels

(Laura A. B. Wilson/ Science Alert) –– Compared to men, we know much less about how women experience disease.

Biomedical research helps us understand the timeline of diseases and how we can treat them. In the past, most of it has been conducted on male cells and experimental animals, such as mice. It has been assumed the results from such “pre-clinical” research on males apply to females too.

Yet men and women experience disease differently. That includes how diseases develop, the length and severity of symptoms, and the effectiveness of treatment options.

Although these differences are now widely acknowledged, they are not fully understood. And women are often worse off as a result.

This is the case for prescription drugs. Women experience around 50-75 percent more adverse reactions than men. This results in many drugs being pulled from the market due to concerns over health risks for women. (…)