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Curr Drug Metab. 2019;20(2):155-165. doi: 10.2174/1389200219666181019145159.

Effects of Gut Microbiota on Drug Metabolism and Guidance for Rational Drug Use Under Hypoxic Conditions at High Altitudes.

Zhang J1,2, Zhang J1, Wang R1,2, Jia Z1,2.

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School of Pharmacy, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, Gansu, China.
Key Laboratory for Prevention and Remediation of Plateau Environmental Damage, Lanzhou, General Hospital, Lanzhou, 730000, Gansu, China.



Modern features of drug development such as low permeability, low solubility, and improved release affect the interplay of the gut microbiota and drug metabolism. In recent years, studies have established the impact of plateau hypoxia on gut microbiota, where drug use by plateau populations is affected by hypoxia- induced changes in intestinal microflora-mediated drug metabolism.


In this review, we summarized the effects of gut microbiota on drug metabolism, and of plateau hypoxia on the intestinal flora, with the aim of providing guidance for the rational use of drugs in high-altitude populations.


The evidence clearly shows that alterations in gut microbiota can affect pro-drug activation, drug inactivation, and the biotransformation of xenobiotics. Additionally, plateau hypoxia alters drug metabolism by affecting intestinal flora.


This review provides an overview of the effects of gut microbiota on drug metabolism and provides guidance for rational drug use under hypoxic conditions at high altitudes.


Drug metabolism; bioavailability; gut microbiota; plateau hypoxia; rational drug use; xenobiotics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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