Echinacea metabolism and drug interactions: The case for standardization of a complementary medicine

Toselli, F., Matthias, A. and Gillam, E. M. J. (2009) Echinacea metabolism and drug interactions: The case for standardization of a complementary medicine. Life Sciences, 85 3-4: 97-106. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2009.04.023

Author Toselli, F.
Matthias, A.
Gillam, E. M. J.
Title Echinacea metabolism and drug interactions: The case for standardization of a complementary medicine
Journal name Life Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0024-3205
Publication date 2009-05-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.lfs.2009.04.023
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 85
Issue 3-4
Start page 97
End page 106
Total pages 10
Place of publication United States
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Language eng
Subject C1
9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions)
060107 Enzymes
100301 Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology
111506 Toxicology (incl.Clinical Toxicology)
111599 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Abstract The herbal medicine, Echinacea, is used for treatment and prevention of upper respiratory tract infections. Among the phytochemicals found in Echinacea, the bioavailable alkylamides are thought to be the compounds responsible for its effects on the human immune system. Cytochrome P450 enzymes (P450s) appear to be the principal system responsible for the metabolism of Echinacea components and most of the main hepatic and some extrahepatic isoforms appear to be involved. Epoxide formation, N-dealkylation and hydroxylation are the main metabolic pathways mediated by P450s. Interactions with P450s determine the circulating concentrations and duration of action of these phytochemicals as well as any potential interactions with other chemicals. Most research to date has focused on the potential of Echinacea to interact with other drugs. Literature reports are equivocal and comparisons between studies are difficult as the phytochemical composition of the preparations examined is rarely assessed. Certain alkylamides containing a terminal acetylene appear to exert a time- and NADPH-dependent inhibition on the metabolism of other compounds. However as there are no industry standardization requirements, differences in the relative concentrations of individual alkylamides between preparations could alter the potential for interactions. A thorough phytochemical analysis of samples investigated is necessary in further studies so that sound conclusions can be drawn regarding the potential for inter-individual variation in pharmacokinetics and therapeutic effects and interactions with other chemicals. Moreover standardization of alkylamide content may allow the exploitation of beneficial interactions between alkylamide components to enhance the therapeutic effect of this widely used complementary medicine. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keyword Medicine, Research & Experimental
Pharmacology & Pharmacy
Research & Experimental Medicine
Pharmacology & Pharmacy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 02:08:04 EST by Cameron Harris on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences