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The mechanisms of pharmacokinetic food-drug interactions: A perspective from the UNGAP group

Koziolek, Mirko; Alcaro, Stefano; Augustijns, Patrick; Basit, Abdul W.; Grimm, Michael; Hens, Bart; Hoad, Caroline L.; Jedamzik, Philipp; Madla, Christine M.; Maliepaard, Marc; Marciani, Luca; Maruca, Annalisa; Parrott, Neil; Pávek, Petr; Porter, Christopher J.H.; Reppas, Christos; van Riet-Nales, Diana; Rubbens, Jari; Statelova, Marina; Trevaskis, Natalie L.; Valentová, Kateřina; Vertzoni, Maria; Cepo, Dubravka Vitali; Corsetti, Maura

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Mirko Koziolek

Stefano Alcaro

Patrick Augustijns

Abdul W. Basit

Michael Grimm

Bart Hens

Senior Research Fellow

Philipp Jedamzik

Christine M. Madla

Marc Maliepaard

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Professor of Gastrointestinal Imaging

Annalisa Maruca

Neil Parrott

Petr Pávek

Christopher J.H. Porter

Christos Reppas

Diana van Riet-Nales

Jari Rubbens

Marina Statelova

Natalie L. Trevaskis

Kateřina Valentová

Maria Vertzoni

Dubravka Vitali Cepo

Clinical Associate Professor


The simultaneous intake of food and drugs can have a strong impact on drug release, absorption, distribution, metabolism and/or elimination and consequently, on the efficacy and safety of pharmacotherapy. As such, food-drug interactions are one of the main challenges in oral drug administration. Whereas pharmacokinetic (PK) food-drug interactions can have a variety of causes, pharmacodynamic (PD) food-drug interactions occur due to specific pharmacological interactions between a drug and particular drinks or food. In recent years, extensive efforts were made to elucidate the mechanisms that drive pharmacokinetic food-drug interactions. Their occurrence depends mainly on the properties of the drug substance, the formulation and a multitude of physiological factors. Every intake of food or drink changes the physiological conditions in the human gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, a precise understanding of how different foods and drinks affect the processes of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and/or elimination as well as formulation performance is important in order to be able to predict and avoid such interactions. Furthermore, it must be considered that beverages such as milk, grapefruit juice and alcohol can also lead to specific food-drug interactions. In this regard, the growing use of food supplements and functional food requires urgent attention in oral pharmacotherapy. Recently, a new consortium in Understanding Gastrointestinal Absorption-related Processes (UNGAP) was established through COST, a funding organisation of the European Union supporting translational research across Europe. In this review of the UNGAP Working group "Food-Drug Interface", the different mechanisms that can lead to pharmacokinetic food-drug interactions are discussed and summarised from different expert perspectives


Koziolek, M., Alcaro, S., Augustijns, P., Basit, A. W., Grimm, M., Hens, B., …Corsetti, M. (2019). The mechanisms of pharmacokinetic food-drug interactions: A perspective from the UNGAP group. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 134, 31-59.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 2, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 8, 2019
Publication Date Jun 15, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 7, 2019
Journal European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Print ISSN 0928-0987
Electronic ISSN 1879-0720
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 134
Pages 31-59
Keywords Food-drug interaction; Food effect; Oral drug delivery; Oral bioavailability; Absorption; Drug release; Metabolism
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