By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It does not take a medical degree to realize that our metabolism changes as we age – all we have to do is remember how we used to get away with eating so much more food. However, there are changes that occur throughout the years and one of the most important changes that occur has to do with metabolizing drugs.

As women go through menstruation and then start to develop, there can be changes. For instance, if a woman is pregnant, the metabolism of drugs can be different. 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.

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