Pharmacokinetic Herb–Drug Interaction between Essential Oil of Aniseed (Pimpinella anisumL., Apiaceae) and Acetaminophen and Caffeine: A Potential Risk for Clinical Practice

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Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum L., Apiaceae) and its essential oil (EO) have been widely used. Because there are some data about the impact of aniseed EO on drug effects, this survey aimed to assess the potential of pharmacokinetic herb–drug interaction between aniseed EO and acetaminophen and caffeine in mice. The chemical analysis (gas chromatography–mass spectrometry) of aniseed EO has confirmed trans-anethole (87.96%) as the main component. The pharmacokinetic studies of intraperitoneally (i.p.) and orally applied acetaminophen (200 mg/kg) and caffeine (20 mg/kg) were performed in mice after 5 days of oral treatment with human equivalent dose of aniseed EO (0.3 mg/kg/day). The analysis of pharmacokinetic data showed that in the group treated by aniseed EO, the significant decrease in the peak plasma concentration of acetaminophen after oral application (p = 0.024) was revealed when compared with control group and the reduction of systemic exposure to the drug after oral application (74 ± 32% vs. 85 ± 35% in the control) was noted. The bioavailability of orally applied caffeine was also significantly decreased (p = 0.022) after the EO treatment in comparison with the control (57 ± 24% vs. 101 ± 29%). Therefore, the compromised therapeutic efficacy of acetaminophen and caffeine during the usage of aniseed EO preparations should be considered. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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