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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Oct;56(10):5070-5. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00672-12. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Effect of ginkgo biloba on the pharmacokinetics of raltegravir in healthy volunteers.

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Pharmacy, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Medicinal herbs may cause clinically relevant drug interactions with antiretroviral agents. Ginkgo biloba extract is a popular herbal product among HIV-infected patients because of its positive effects on cognitive function. Raltegravir, an HIV integrase inhibitor, is increasingly being used as part of combined antiretroviral therapy. Clinical data on the potential inhibitory or inductive effect of ginkgo biloba on the pharmacokinetics of raltegravir were lacking, and concomitant use was not recommended. We studied the effect of ginkgo biloba extract on the pharmacokinetics of raltegravir in an open-label, randomized, two-period, crossover phase I trial in 18 healthy volunteers. Subjects were randomly assigned to a regimen of 120 mg of ginkgo biloba twice daily for 15 days plus a single dose of raltegravir (400 mg) on day 15, a washout period, and 400 mg of raltegravir on day 36 or the test and reference treatments in reverse order. Pharmacokinetic sampling of raltegravir was performed up to 12 h after intake on an empty stomach. All subjects (9 male) completed the trial, and no serious adverse events were reported. Geometric mean ratios (90% confidence intervals) of the area under the plasma concentration-time curve from dosing to infinity (AUC(0-∞)) and the maximum plasma concentration (C(max)) of raltegravir with ginkgo biloba versus raltegravir alone were 1.21 (0.93 to 1.58) and 1.44 (1.03 to 2.02). Ginkgo biloba did not reduce raltegravir exposure. The potential increase in the C(max) of raltegravir is probably of minor importance, given the large intersubject variability of raltegravir pharmacokinetics and its reported safety profile.

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