Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling framework for quantitative prediction of an herb-drug interaction

Publication: CPT Pharmacometrics Syst Pharmacol
Software: GastroPlus®


Herb-drug interaction predictions remain challenging. Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling was used to improve prediction accuracy of potential herb-drug interactions using the semipurified milk thistle preparation, silibinin, as an exemplar herbal product. Interactions between silibinin constituents and the probe substrates warfarin (CYP2C9) and midazolam (CYP3A) were simulated. A low silibinin dose (160 mg/day × 14 days) was predicted to increase midazolam area under the curve (AUC) by 1%, which was corroborated with external data; a higher dose (1,650 mg/day × 7 days) was predicted to increase midazolam and (S)-warfarin AUC by 5% and 4%, respectively. A proof-of-concept clinical study confirmed minimal interaction between high-dose silibinin and both midazolam and (S)-warfarin (9 and 13% increase in AUC, respectively). Unexpectedly, (R)-warfarin AUC decreased (by 15%), but this is unlikely to be clinically important. Application of this PBPK modeling framework to other herb-drug interactions could facilitate development of guidelines for quantitative prediction of clinically relevant interactions.