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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Jan;71(1):11-20.

Fruit juices inhibit organic anion transporting polypeptide-mediated drug uptake to decrease the oral availability of fexofenadine.

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Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.



Our objective was to examine the effect of different fruits and their constituents on P-glycoprotein and organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) activities in vitro and on drug disposition in humans.


P-glycoprotein-mediated digoxin or vinblastine efflux was determined in polarized epithelial cell monolayers. OATP-mediated fexofenadine uptake was measured in a transfected cell line. The oral pharmacokinetics of 120 mg fexofenadine was assessed with water, 25%-strength grapefruit juice, or normal-strength grapefruit, orange, or apple juices (1.2 L over 3 hours) in a randomized 5-way crossover study in 10 healthy subjects.


Grapefruit juice and segments and apple juice at 5% of normal strength did not alter P-glycoprotein activity. Grapefruit extract reduced transport. 6',7'-Dihydroxybergamottin had modest inhibitory activity (50% inhibitory concentration [IC(50)], 33 micromol/L). In contrast, grapefruit, orange, and apple juices at 5% of normal strength markedly reduced human OATP and rat oatp activity. 6',7'-Dihydroxybergamottin potently inhibited rat oatp3 and oatp1 (IC(50), 0.28 micromol/L). Other furanocoumarins and bioflavonoids also reduced rat oatp3 activity. Grapefruit, orange, and apple juices decreased the fexofenadine area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC), the peak plasma drug concentration (C(max)), and the urinary excretion values to 30% to 40% of those with water, with no change in the time to reach C(max), elimination half-life, renal clearance, or urine volume in humans. Change in fexofenadine AUC with juice was variable among individuals and inversely dependent on value with water.


Fruit juices and constituents are more potent inhibitors of OATPs than P-glycoprotein activities, which can reduce oral drug bioavailability. Results support a new model of intestinal drug absorption and mechanism of food-drug interaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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