Here is an extremely helpful fact sheet from The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) about sex differences in response to pharmaceuticals, tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. It should be of interest to clincians as they seek to educate their patients and adjust treatment based on the fact that, as the bulletin notes, “Basic physiological differences between men and women may influence their reactions to drugs.”
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which are used to treat depression, appear to be maintained at higher blood concentrations in women than in men. This fact may necessitate more dosage adjustments in women than in men to ensure favorable drug response, compliance, and decreased incidence of adverse events.
- Women are more susceptible to tobacco-induced carcinogenesis than men
- Smoking appears to have a more detrimental effect on cardiovascular disease in women than in men
- Women who smoke are more likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than their male counterparts,45 and are more likely to have symptoms of COPD at lower levels of tobacco smoke exposure.
- Women are less successful than men in quitting smoking
- Women experience more severe withdrawal symptoms than men when quitting smoking
- Women are susceptible to alcohol-related heart damage at lower levels of alcohol consumption than men
- Alcoholic women experience reduction in the size of one portion of the brain, the corpus callosum, whereas alcoholic men do not. This result suggests that women are more sensitive to alcohol-induced brain damage than men
See on www.womenshealthresearch.org