By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Women go through many changes as they get older but there is one area which can be affected that few people think of – the metabolism of drugs.READ MORE: Family Holds Balloon Release For 'Gentle Soul' 17-Year-Old Nasir Muhammad, Gunned Down In Front Of Mom's Home
Early in life, a woman’s metabolism is very similar to men. But as women go through menstruation and then start to develop, things happen. For instance, if a woman is pregnant, the metabolism of drugs can be be altered – sometimes dramatically.READ MORE: More Than 800 Baby Turtles Safe In Stockton University's Care Thanks To Quick Thinking, Little Innovation
In addition to these changes, remember that the baby gets its nutrition from mom. If mom takes medications, they can have a harmful effect on the baby.
The variation in hormones can affect how medications interact in the body and this plays a role throughout life.MORE NEWS: 'Mom-And-Pop Bakeries Are Dying': Homemade Goodies By Roz May Have To Close Due To Worker Shortage
After menopause, the glomerular filtration rate, the way we measure the clearance of drugs, can affect metabolism. Medications can stay in the system far longer than when a woman was in her younger years.