Gender and interindividual variability in pharmacokinetics

Drug Metab Rev. 2009;41(3):408-21. doi: 10.1080/10837450902891485.


Like any other drugs, antiallergic medications can be associated with large inter- and intraindividual variability in their disposition. The best-documented examples belong to the H1 antihistamines. Variable drugs are more likely to show unpredictable therapeutic response with both increased risks of side effects and subtherapeutic dosing in individual subjects. This article will review the main factors contributing to intervariability in pharmacokinetics with a special emphasis on gender differences, genetic polymorphism, and food habits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Allergic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / blood
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / blood
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Smoking
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Torsades de Pointes / chemically induced


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System