OBJECTIVE: This review explores the theoretical background for and
empirical evidence supporting gender-related differences in
pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic properties of psychotropic
medications. METHOD: The authors reviewed all English-language articles on
this topic that involved original research using human subjects. RESULTS:
Limited evidence suggests that young women seem to respond better to and
require lower doses of antipsychotic agents and benzodiazepines than young
men. The administration of exogenous hormones interacts with medications,
changing plasma levels and possibly conferring greater risks for toxicity.
Young women may have an enhanced response to nontricyclic antidepressants.
CONCLUSIONS: Too little basic and clinical research has been conducted on
sex differences in therapeutic effects and side effects of
psychopharmacological treatments. Addressing these differences as well as
similarities will lead to safer and more effective treatment for all