Medications: Male Vs. Female

Let’s take a moment and imagine that every medicine women take was only studied in males–male animals in the lab, human males in clinical trials and approved marketed and prescribed for men AND women. Let’s take that one step further and imagine that your doctor said Mrs. Smith I’m prescribing this medicine to you because except for your breasts, uterus and ovaries everything  in your body is exactly like a man’s. Even though the medicine I have prescribed was only studied in males it doesn’t really make a difference.

You might think the doctor was joking around.  Maybe he didn’t realize his sense of humor was not that funny.  So he writes you the prescription and when you  get to the pharmacy, what the doctor said was still bugging you. You ask the pharmacist, “Hey, does this medicine work the same for women as it does for men?” The pharmacist looks at you and says, “Why yes it does. Even though we only studied it in men, it’s the same for women. We’re all the same except for a few different parts (haha). Again you wonder do these doctors and pharmacists really think this is funny?

Here’s the reality, the above story is NOT imaginary. The majority of research on medications is performed in males –  male animals and then male humans. But medications are prescribed for men and women without considering there might be a difference.  In fact most of our patient care today is based on the norm which is the males.

The time has come for women and men to expect “precise” medical care – that means care designed precisely for you. Medical care like surgery needs to be precise. You wouldn’t want your surgeon to say well I’m just going to cut somewhere on your stomach and yank out that gallbladder. Don’t worry we’ll find it eventually. If this happened, I suspect you would find a new surgeon.

Do men and women really believe there is no difference, that a man’s brain is exactly the same as a woman’s brain; a woman’s heart is the same as a man’s heart, and on and on? Come on… are women just men with a few different parts? The answer is a resounding NO!

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