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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2019 Apr;71(4):643-673. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12983. Epub 2018 Jul 30.

Effects of medicines used to treat gastrointestinal diseases on the pharmacokinetics of coadministered drugs: a PEARRL Review.

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Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, University of Bath, Bath, UK.
Pion Inc. (UK) Ltd., Forest Row, East Sussex, UK.



Drugs used to treat gastrointestinal diseases (GI drugs) are widely used either as prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications and belong to both the 10 most prescribed and 10 most sold OTC medications worldwide. The objective of this review article is to discuss the most frequent interactions between GI and other drugs, including identification of the mechanisms behind these interactions, where possible.


Current clinical practice shows that in many cases, these drugs are administered concomitantly with other drug products. Due to their metabolic properties and mechanisms of action, the drugs used to treat gastrointestinal diseases can change the pharmacokinetics of some coadministered drugs. In certain cases, these interactions can lead to failure of treatment or to the occurrence of serious adverse events. The mechanism of interaction depends highly on drug properties and differs among therapeutic categories. Understanding these interactions is essential to providing recommendations for optimal drug therapy.


Interactions with GI drugs are numerous and can be highly significant clinically in some cases. While alterations in bioavailability due to changes in solubility, dissolution rate, GI transit and metabolic interactions can be (for the most part) easily identified, interactions that are mediated through other mechanisms, such as permeability or microbiota, are less well-understood. Future work should focus on characterising these aspects.


GI motility; GI pH; drug-drug interaction; metabolism; permeability

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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