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Prescription Drugs: Why Your Gender Matters

November 09, 2015
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Alyson McGregor is an emergency medicine doctor who has always run the same tests and given the same prescriptions to patients without considering their sex or gender. Whether it was a male with a stubbed toe or a female who had been in a car accident, gender was never a question when it came to dosages and prescriptions. McGregor realized it should have been. The male and female body respond differently to different types of medications, yet the cells used in the laboratory to create the drugs are male cells. Not only that but the animals used in lab studies are males too and the clinical trials that have been performed are done on men as well. The male body has become the framework for medical research. This is problematic when it comes to females taking the prescriptions because the body regulates and metabolizes at different speeds than males. This is largely why in a recent Government Accountability survey, 80% of the drugs withdrawn from the market are due to side effects on women. McGregor and her colleagues at Brown University are trying to change the way this framework is set up in order to give both males and females the proper treatment. While each sex makes up half the population, it is necessary for each to be given the appropriate care for their safety and well being. In order to learn more about the issue and to find out how McGregor plans to resolve the problem, check out her TEDTalk below!
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