Mechanisms of drug combinations: interaction and network perspectives

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2009 Feb;8(2):111-28. doi: 10.1038/nrd2683.


Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying synergistic, potentiative and antagonistic effects of drug combinations could facilitate the discovery of novel efficacious combinations and multi-targeted agents. In this article, we describe an extensive investigation of the published literature on drug combinations for which the combination effect has been evaluated by rigorous analysis methods and for which relevant molecular interaction profiles of the drugs involved are available. Analysis of the 117 drug combinations identified reveals general and specific modes of action, and highlights the potential value of molecular interaction profiles in the discovery of novel multicomponent therapies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Drug Antagonism*
  • Drug Synergism*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination*
  • Humans