Pharmacogenomics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics: interaction with biological differences between men and women

Br J Pharmacol. 2014 Feb;171(3):580-94. doi: 10.1111/bph.12362.


Pharmacological response depends on multiple factors and one of them is sex-gender. Data on the specific effects of sex-gender on pharmacokinetics, as well as the safety and efficacy of numerous medications, are beginning to emerge. Nevertheless, the recruitment of women for clinical research is inadequate, especially during the first phases. In general, pharmacokinetic differences between males and females are more numerous and consistent than disparities in pharmacodynamics. However, sex-gender pharmacodynamic differences are now increasingly being identified at the molecular level. It is now even becoming apparent that sex-gender influences pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics. Sex-related differences have been reported for several parameters, and it is consistently shown that women have a worse safety profile, with drug adverse reactions being more frequent and severe in women than in men. Overall, the pharmacological status of women is less well studied than that of men and deserves much more attention. The design of clinical and preclinical studies should have a sex-gender-based approach with the aim of tailoring therapies to an individual's needs and concerns.

Keywords: drug response; gender differences; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetic; sex differences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Agents / adverse effects
  • Cardiovascular Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Cardiovascular Agents / pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pharmacogenetics / methods
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Research Design
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Vascular Resistance / drug effects


  • Cardiovascular Agents