It’s Almost Like Men and Women are Biologically Different

The now Ezra Klein-free wonkblog has a chart up listing the most common negative side effects for drugs.  Take a look and you’ll see a lot of reactions, ranging from relatively mild–drug ineffective–to fairly severe–death.  And in all of them except for death, women suffer a lot more negative drug interactions than men do.

What’s bizarre about this article is that they mention that there are far more negative interactions for women than men, and that women are more likely to suffer more than one negative side effect than men, but don’t address any potential reason.  Like the pretty big deal that the NIH has recently admonished researches to start using female test subjects as well, since they often don’t even know how drugs will affect women as much as they do how they will affect men.  And the reason they often don’t test on female animals, or women in general, is especially bizarre:

<blockquote>Researchers avoided using female animals for fear that their reproductive cycles and hormone fluctuations would confound the results of delicately calibrated experiments.</blockquote>

Huh.  Well, I might suggest that if women have regular biological shifts and variations and hormone fluctuations that will affect the drug results, perhaps that makes it even more important to include them in your studies?

I don’t know for sure why there are more reported drug side effects and negative interactions for women than for men.  But it certainly seems worth mentioning.


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