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Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2012;27(2):242-7. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Food-drug interaction of tacrolimus with pomelo, ginger, and turmeric juice in rats.

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Department of Hospital Pharmacy, Nagasaki University Hospital, Nagasaki.


Tacrolimus is a well-known potent immunosuppressant agent, which has various drug-drug or food-drug interactions. Previously, we found a renal transplant recipient who increased tacrolimus blood concentrations after ingestion of pomelo as a rare case. So, we investigated the effect of pomelo after its administration for one day or 3 consecutive days on the pharmacokinetics of tacrolimus in rats. We also confirmed the effects of grapefruit, turmeric, and ginger. The tacrolimus blood concentrations of the rats pre-treated with 100% pomelo juice were significantly higher than those pre-treated with water. On the other hand, the tacrolimus blood concentrations of the rats pre-treated with 50% pomelo juice were not significantly different from those pre-treated with water. The pomelo-tacrolimus interaction showed concentration dependency. Even low concentration of pomelo juice could enhance the blood concentrations of tacrolimus by repeated administration. The inhibitory effect of 100% pomelo juice disappeared 3 days after intake. The AUC values of tacrolimus in the rats pre-treated with grapefruit juice, ginger juice, and turmeric juice were significantly larger than those pre-treated with water. We could confirm the pomelo-tacrolimus interaction, which we discovered in a case study, quantitatively. We newly found the influence of turmeric and ginger on tacrolimus pharmacokinetics, comparable to pomelo.

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