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The effect of silymarin on oral nifedipine pharmacokinetics.

Author(s): Fuhr U, Beckmann-Knopp S, Jetter A, Luck H, Mengs U

Affiliation(s): Department of Pharmacology, University Hospital, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. uwe.fuhr@uk-koeln.de

Publication date & source: 2007-11, Planta Med., 73(14):1429-35. Epub 2007 Oct 30.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Silibinin, the main component of silymarin (a milk thistle extract used for treatment of liver injury), has been shown to inhibit CYP3A4 in human liver microsomes. The present study was conducted to examine whether inhibition of CYP3A4 by silymarin is also present IN VIVO. Immediate release nifedipine (10 mg) was administered as a CYP3A4 test drug either alone or with co-administration of silymarin (280 mg administered 10 hours and 1.5 hours prior to the administration of nifedipine) to 16 healthy male volunteers (mean age 27 years, mean body weight 77 kg). Nifedipine and silibinin concentrations were quantified by HPLC, heart rate and blood pressure were monitored for safety reasons. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated by non-compartmental methods, and the potential interaction by silymarin was handled as an equivalence problem. We found that nifedipine AUC was 1.13-fold higher (90 % CI, 0.97- to 1.32-fold) in the silymarin period, C (max) values were 0.70-fold (90 % CI, 0.39- to 1.27-fold) of those of the reference period, with a trend to delayed absorption in the silymarin period. Intraindividual variability especially for C (max) (intrasubject CV 120 %) was unexpectedly high. There was no meaningful effect on hemodynamic parameters. In conclusion, our data suggest that co-administration of silymarin does not considerably change the extent of absorption or metabolism of nifedipine but may decrease the absorption rate. Silymarin thus is not a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor IN VIVO.

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