The survey found that over 58% of women "always" or "most of the time" read labels for gender related differences, but nearly 64% "almost" or "never" asked doctors about potential differences. About half of women surveyed believe a drug's effectiveness can vary between the sexes, while a more than a third believed such differences do not exist.
It is not always clear why drugs affect men and women differently but the rate at which drugs are metabolized may be a factor. Women have, on average, lower body weight, higher percent body fat, smaller organs, and reduced blood flow compared to men. Women need to be aware of these issues and actively question their health care providers.