Flavonoid-drug interactions: effects of flavonoids on ABC transporters

Life Sci. 2006 Mar 27;78(18):2116-30. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2005.12.003. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


Flavonoids are present in fruits, vegetables and beverages derived from plants (tea, red wine), and in many dietary supplements or herbal remedies including Ginkgo Biloba, Soy Isoflavones, and Milk Thistle. Flavonoids have been described as health-promoting, disease-preventing dietary supplements, and a high intake of flavonoids has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and other age-related degenerative diseases. Due to an increased public interest in alternative medicine and disease prevention, the use of herbal preparations containing high doses of flavonoids for health maintenance has become very popular, raising the potential for interactions with conventional drug therapies. This review will summarize the current literature regarding the interactions of flavonoids with ATP-binding cassette (ABC) efflux transporters, mainly P-glycoprotein, MRP1, MRP2 and BCRP and discuss the potential consequences for flavonoid-drug transport interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / drug effects
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport, Active / drug effects
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Flavonoids