Our objective was to investigate the effects of orange juice on the pharmacokinetics of pravastatin in rats and healthy volunteers. The pharmacokinetics of pravastatin (100 mg/kg p.o.) were assessed with water, orange juice, and carbohydrates (12.5 ml/kg over 30 min) and with acetic acid (0.1 M, pH 3.44). The pharmacokinetics of simvastatin (100 mg/kg p.o.) were assessed with water and orange juice. In addition, the pharmacokinetics (based on plasma levels) of pravastatin 80 mg/kg i.v. were assessed with water and orange juice (5 ml/kg) in rats. The pharmacokinetics of oral pravastatin (10 mg) were assessed when administered with water and orange juice (800 ml over 3 h) in a two-way crossover study in 14 healthy volunteers. Orange juice significantly increased the area under the curve (0-150 min) of pravastatin in rats. Orange juice had no effects on the pharmacokinetic parameters of intravenously administered pravastatin in rats. Carbohydrates and acetic acid with pH and concentration equivalent to those of orange juice also resulted in no statistically significant differences in pravastatin pharmacokinetic parameters in rats. Orange juice did not result in any significant differences in the pharmacokinetic parameters of simvastatin in rats. Orange juice significantly increased oatp1 and oatp2 mRNA and protein in the intestine of rats. Orange juice significantly increased the area under the curve (0-240 min) of pravastatin in healthy volunteers. In conclusion, orange juice increases the bioavailability of pravastatin administered orally. Oatp1 and oatp2 may be related to increases of pharmacokinetics of pravastatin by orange juice.