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Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Aug 11;174(3):177-82. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2008.05.033. Epub 2008 Jun 5.

Food-drug interaction of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate on the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan and the metabolite SN-38.

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  • 1Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan (CPT-11) and its metabolite SN-38. EGCG was potentially used to modulate the ATPase activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp). Experimental Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with EGCG (20mg/kg, i.v.) 10min before CPT-11 (10mg/kg, i.v.) administration, whereas the control group received CPT-11 (10mg/kg, i.v.) only. The biological samples were prepared by the protein precipitation and detected by HPLC-fluorescence detection which provided a good separation of CPT-11 and SN-38 within 10min. The pharmacokinetic data indicate that the area under the plasma concentration-time curves (AUC) of CPT-11 and SN-38 were increased by 57.7 and 18.3%, and AUC in bile were decreased by 15.8 and 46.8%, respectively, for the group pretreated with EGCG. The blood to bile distribution ratio (AUC(bile)/AUC(blood)) was significantly reduced after group coadministration of EGCG, it can be seen that the bile efflux transport system of CPT-11 and SN-38 may be markedly reduced by the treatment of EGCG which plays the role of P-gp inhibitor. In conclusion, EGCG was found to inhibit the transport of CPT-11 and SN-38 into the biliary elimination and their half-lives in plasma could be substantially prolonged. Based on the food-drug interaction, persons taking daily nutritional supplements should be warned of this interaction possibility.

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