By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Metabolism of drugs can vary as a woman ages.

Early in life, the metabolism is very similar to men. But as women go through menstruation and then start to develop, there can be changes.

Just think about the changes when a woman is pregnant. The way the body metabolizes many things is different during pregnancy. There is an added problem. The baby gets its nutrition from mom and if mom takes medications, they can have a harmful effect on the baby.

Often, the variation in hormones can affect how medications interact in the body.

After menopause, the GFR, the glomerular filtration rate, the way we measure the clearance of drugs, can affect metabolism.

I think the important point is that you need to realize as life goes on your body changes and you need to check in with your doctor to deal with these differences.

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