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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2004 Oct;58(4):403-10.

Drug interaction between St John's Wort and quazepam.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.

Abstract

AIM:

St John's Wort (SJW) enhances CYP3A4 activity and decreases blood concentrations of CYP3A4 substrates. In this study, the effects of SJW on a benzodiazepine hypnotic, quazepam, which is metabolized by CYP3A4, were examined.

METHODS:

Thirteen healthy subjects took a single dose of quazepam 15 mg after treatment with SJW (900 mg day(-1)) or placebo for 14 days. The study was performed in a randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over design with an interval of 4 weeks between the two treatments. Blood samples were obtained during a 48 h period and urine was collected for 24 h after each dose of quazepam. Pharmacodynamic effects were determined using visual analogue scales (VAS) and the digit symbol substitution test (DSST) on days 13 and 14.

RESULTS:

SJW decreased the plasma quazepam concentration. The Cmax and AUC(0-48) of quazepam after SJW were significantly lower than those after placebo [Cmax; -8.7 ng ml(-1) (95% confidence interval (CI) -17.1 to -0.2), AUC0-48; -55 ng h ml(-1) (95% CI -96 to -15)]. The urinary ratio of 6beta-hydroxycortisol to cortisol, which reflects CYP3A4 activity, also increased after dosing with SJW (ratio; 2.1 (95%CI 0.85-3.4)). Quazepam, but not SJW, produced sedative-like effects in the VAS test (drowsiness; P < 0.01, mental slowness; P < 0.01, calmness; P < 0.05, discontentment; P < 0.01). On the other hand, SJW, but not quazepam impaired psychomotor performance in the DSST test. SJW did not influence the pharmacodynamic profile of quazepam.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that SJW decreases plasma quazepam concentrations, probably by enhancing CYP3A4 activity, but does not influence the pharmacodynamic effects of the drug.

PMID:
15373933
PMCID:
PMC1884612
DOI:
10.1111/j.1365-2125.2004.02171.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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