Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 883–892 | Cite as

Grapefruit Juice and its Constituents Augment Colchicine Intestinal Absorption: Potential Hazardous Interaction and the Role of P-Glycoprotein

Research Paper



To investigate the potential interaction between grapefruit juice (GFJ) and the oral microtubule polymerization inhibitor colchicine, a P-gp and CYP3A4 substrate.


Colchicine intestinal epithelial transport was investigated across Caco-2 cell monolayers in both AP–BL and BL–AP directions, in the absence/presence of known P-gp inhibitors (verapamil and quinidine). The concentration-dependent effects of GFJ and its major constituents (6′-7′-dihydroxybergamottin, naringin and naringenin) on colchicine Caco-2 mucosal secretion were examined. The effect of GFJ on colchicine intestinal-permeability was then investigated in-situ in the rat perfusion model, in both jejunum and ileum.


Colchicine exhibited 20-fold higher BL–AP than AP–BL Caco-2 permeability, indicative of net mucosal secretion, which was reduced by verapamil/quinidine. Colchicine AP–BL permeability was increased and BL–AP was decreased by GFJ in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50 values of 0.75% and 0.46% respectively), suggesting inhibition of efflux transport, rather than metabolizing enzyme. Similar effects obtained following pre-experiment incubation with GFJ, even though the juice was not present throughout the transepithelial study. 6′-7′-Dihydroxybergamottin, naringin and naringenin displayed concentration-dependent inhibition on colchicine BL–AP secretion (IC50 values of 90, 592 and 11.6 μM respectively). Ten percent GFJ doubled colchicine rat in-situ ileal permeability, and increased 1.5-fold jejunal permeability.


The data suggest that GFJ may augment colchicine oral bioavailability. Due to colchicine narrow therapeutic-index and severely toxic side-effects, awareness of this interaction is prudent.


colchicine drug interaction grapefruit juice intestinal permeability P-glycoprotein 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of PharmacyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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