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Gender Equality: Not When it Comes to Your Rx Drugs

From the Show: HER
Summary: The FDA made a surprising announcement to cut the recommended dose of the most popular sleep drug in the country, Ambien, in half for women. 
Air Date: 2/13/14
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD
Gender Equality: Not When it Comes to Your Rx Drugs
The Food and Drug Administration made an unusual and surprising announcement to cut the recommended dose of the most popular sleep drug in the country, Ambien, in half for women.  

Men and women metabolize Ambien, known generically as Zolpidem, very differently, leaving women with more of the drug in their bodies the next morning. 

Ambien is now the only prescription drug in the country with a different suggested dose for men and women; however, all drugs need to examined. For example, according to CBS News, low-dose aspirin lowers the risk of heart attacks in healthy men; but does not have the same effect in healthy women (though it does protect women against stroke).

More and more, scientists are realizing that the differences between sexes are dangerously understudied and that ubiquitously and fundamentally, sex matters (mostly because of the evidence is right in front of their face). 

But still, only 37 percent of clinical trials done today are on women, which had to be passed by Congress. Can't we at least get 50 percent? 

As a physician and scientist, Dr. Pam Peeke has witnessed this issue first hand throughout her career, and Michelle King Robson has been advocating this issue for years. Together they addresses the precedence of this huge gender problem. 

Resources: 

Society for Women's Health Research 

The Women's Health Research Institute 




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