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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2003 Oct;55(10):1419-26.

Sho-saiko-to and Saiko-keisi-to, the traditional Chinese and Japanese herbal medicines, altered hepatic drug-metabolizing enzymes in mice and rats when administered orally for a long time.

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  • 1Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagoya City University, 3-1 Tanabe-dori, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8603, Japan.


As the consumption of herbal remedies has increased, the opportunity that such herbal medicines are co-administered with other drugs has also risen gradually and we are, therefore, very much concerned about herb-drug interactions. We examined the effects of pre-administration of Kampo medicines (Sho-saiko-to, Saiko-keishi-to, Shigyaku-san and Dai-saiko-to) on the pentobarbital-induced sleeping time in mice and rats, to clarify the possibility that they could affect the drug-metabolizing enzymes. The administration of Sho-saiko-to and Saiko-keishi-to for 4 weeks significantly shortened the pentobarbital-induced sleeping time in mice and the administration of Sho-saiko-to for 2 weeks significantly reduced the sleeping time in rats. Furthermore, we tried to identify the molecular species of rat cytochrome P450s (CYPs) affected by Sho-saiko-to and Saiko-keishi-to by competitive RT-PCR. The oral administration of Sho-saiko-to for 2 weeks upregulated the mRNA expression of CYP2B, CYP3A1, CYP2E1 and CYP4A1 in rats. The treatment with Saiko-keishi-to for 2 weeks also up-regulated the mRNA expression of CYP2B, CYP3A1 and CYP4A1. Sho-saiko-to and Saiko-keishi-to may potentially influence the drug-metabolizing enzymes in man, and would thus require much attention when used in the clinical situation.

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