Drug interactions: concerns and current approaches

IDrugs. 2007 Jan;10(1):47-52.


Following the recent withdrawal of several prominent drugs from US and European markets because of detrimental drug-drug interactions, metabolic drug interactions have received considerable attention in the pharmaceutical industry. In turn, the question of drug safety has received significant legal, regulatory and commercial emphasis, bringing this issue to the forefront of both industry and government drug agendas. The value of predicting the drug interactions of compounds as early as possible in the drug discovery process for all therapeutic areas cannot be underestimated. From 1964 to 1999, approximately 8% of the drugs approved by the FDA were later withdrawn from the US market. Pharmaceutical companies are facing increasing pressure to prove the long-term safety of their products, and this is complicated by the fact that animal models are not perfectly predictive of human responses, and may provide contradictory information. The failure to address safety concerns successfully during the drug optimization process may result in companies withdrawing any approved drugs from the market; drug safety issues not only present human health consequences, but also have a negative economic and public relations impact on the pharmaceutical industry. This paper discusses the significance of drug interactions, and addresses strategies to evaluate the potential of a drug candidate for drug interactions.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Beverages
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / biosynthesis
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Food-Drug Interactions
  • Humans


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System