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Gender Differences Seen in Adverse Drug Reactions

Differences found in reaction symptoms and types of drugs tied to adverse reactions

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FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The risk for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) may be higher for women, even when accounting for gender differences in drug use, according to a study published online April 2 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Sieta T. de Vries, Ph.D., from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues assessed gender differences in ADRs reported to the national pharmacovigilance center in the Netherlands. To be included, drug-ADR combinations had to be reported ≥10 times between 2003 and 2016 for drugs used by ≥10,000 persons.

The researchers identified 2,483 drug-ADR combinations. Possible gender differences were seen among 363 combinations (15 percent), out of which 322 were reported more often for women. The highest number of ADRs reported more often for women included drugs for thyroid hormones (32 combinations) and antidepressants (16 combinations for the centrally acting sympathomimetics; 14 combinations for other antidepressants). Some ADRs, like headache and dizziness, were predominantly reported in women across a range of drugs. ADRs like tendon ruptures and aggression were reported more often in men.

"The results may ultimately lead to gender-specific prescribing or monitoring recommendations," the authors write.

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