Does sex matter? The influence of gender on gastrointestinal physiology and drug delivery

Freire, A.C., Basit, A.W., Choudhary, R., Piong, C.W. and Merchant, H.A. (2011) Does sex matter? The influence of gender on gastrointestinal physiology and drug delivery. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 415 (1-2). pp. 15-28. 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2011.04.069.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2011.04.069


We all respond differently to drugs. Personalised medicine aims to improve efficacy and reduce side effects, and efforts are being made to understand the physiological differences that underlie responses to drugs. Genetics, diet and disease state can be key; however, gender also plays an important role in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug toxicity. Differences in metabolism and clearance of drugs as a consequence of distinct hepatic and renal processes in males and females are now much better understood but little is known about gender differences in the gastrointestinal tract. As the recipient of all orally administered medications, differences at this level can have a major impact on drug delivery and bioavailability; yet these continue to be ignored and insufficiently studied in the context of drug disposition. The aim of this review is to highlight the known gender differences in gut physiology. Clinical case studies are presented, where possible, to illustrate the influence of these differences on drug disposition and gaps in current knowledge are highlighted to encourage further research in this area.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Absorption; Bioavailability; Colon; Fluids; Gastrointestinal physiology; Microbiota; Motility; Personalized medicines; pH; Pharmacokinetics; Population variability; Small intestine; Stomach; Transit
Departments, units and centres:Department of Pharmaceutics > Department of Pharmaceutics
ID Code:2784
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Pharmaceutics
Deposited By:Library Staff
Deposited On:10 Feb 2012 10:20
Last Modified:10 Feb 2012 10:20

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