Editor's Note: This is the fifth article in a series on sex-based differences in the biology of males and females. The final article in the series will cover sex-based differences in life expectancy.
More than 30 years ago, researchers noted for the first time the pharmacokinetic differences between men and women. They found that women pass antipyrine, a drug used to study liver metabolism, more quickly than men; this occurred around ovulation and during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycles. But, says Mary J. Berg, professor of pharmacy, University of Iowa, this initial difference was "just a scientific notation;" the researchers didn't set out to look for dissimilarities.
Since then, just a few common drugs have been studied exclusively for sex differences.1 "We still have a long way to go," says Berg. "There aren't that many studies done on drugs in the market." In fact,...
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