Pharmacovigilance: Effects of herbal components on human drugs interactions involving Cytochrome P450



Akansha Saxena1, Kumar Parijat Tripathi2, Sudeep Roy3, Feroz Khan4,* and Ashok Sharma5




1Bioinformatics and In Silico Biology Division, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research), Lucknow 226015 (UP), India

Email; * Corresponding author

Article Type


Current Trends



received November 9, 2008; accepted December 1, 2008; published December 31, 2008



Cytochrome P450 (CYP P450) enzymes are a superfamily of mono-oxygenases that are found in all kingdoms of life. The CYP P450 enzymes constitute a large superfamily of haem-thiolate proteins involved in the metabolism of a wide variety of both exogenous and endogenous compounds. The CYP activities have been shown to be involved in numerous interactions especially between drugs and herbal constituents. The majority of serious cases of drug interactions are as a result of the interference of the metabolic clearance of one drug by yet another co-administered drug, food or natural product. Gaining mechanistic knowledge towards such interactions has been accepted as an approach to avoid adverse reactions. The inductions and inhibition of CYP enzymes by natural products in the presence of a prescribed drug has led to adverse effects. Herbal medicines such as St. Johnís wort (Hypericum perforatum), garlic (Allium sativa), piperine (from Piper sp.), ginseng (Ginseng sp.), gingko (Gingko biloba), soya beans (Glycine max), alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and grape fruit juice show clinical interactions when co-administered with medicines. This review documents the involvement of CYP enzymes in the metabolism of known available drugs and herbal products. We also document the interactions between herbal constituents & CYP enzymes showing potential drug-herb interactions. Data on CYP450 enzymes in activation (i.e. induction or inhibition) with natural constituents is also reviewed.



Cytochrome P450; CYP; Herb-drug interactions; inhibition; induction; natural products; natural ingredients; phytomolecules


Saxena et al., Bioinformation 3(5): 198-204 (2008)

Edited by

P. Kangueane




Biomedical Informatics




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