Impact of African herbal medicines on antiretroviral metabolism

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We examined the effects of two African herbal medicines recommended for HIV/AIDS patients on antiretroviral metabolism. Extracts from Hypoxis and Sutherlandia showed significant effects on cytochrome P450 3A4 metabolism and activated the pregnane X receptor approximately twofold. P-glycoprotein expression was inhibited, with Hypoxis showing 42–51% and Sutherlandia showing 19–31% of activity compared with verapamil. Initiating policies to provide herbal medicines with antiretroviral agents may put patients at risk of treatment failure, viral resistance or drug toxicity.

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