Acute and chronic pretreatment with essential oil of peppermint (Mentha × piperita L., Lamiaceae) influences drug effects

Phytother Res. 2012 Jun;26(6):820-5. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3638. Epub 2011 Nov 10.


The appearance of common and self-initiative usage of various herbal preparations in everyday practice and life imposes the question of possible interactions with drugs. This survey examined the influence of acute and chronic peppermint oil (PO--Mentha × piperita L., Lamiaceae; prepared as emulsion for oral use) on pentobarbitone-induced sleeping time, analgesic effect of codeine and impairment of motor coordination caused by midazolam in mice. The chemical profile of essential oil was determined by GC-MS. Applied doses of PO were 0.1 and 0.2 mL/kg. Chronic PO intake (in both doses) led to significant decrease of analgesic effect of codeine, while acute intake of PO did not change this effect. Acute PO pretreatment in higher dose caused significant prolongation of pentobarbitone-induced sleeping time, while it was significantly shortened by chronic PO pretreatment at the same dose. Midazolam effect was enhanced and prolonged significantly by chronic PO intake at higher dose, while acute intake of PO did not change this effect. Gut motility was increased only by acute intake of higher PO dose. Regarding the fact that PO produces changes in tested drug effects, the interaction between drugs and phytopreparations containing PO should be additionally followed/confirmed in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Codeine / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Emulsions / chemistry
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Herb-Drug Interactions*
  • Male
  • Mentha piperita / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Midazolam / adverse effects
  • Oils, Volatile / administration & dosage
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Pentobarbital / pharmacology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • Analgesics
  • Emulsions
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Pentobarbital
  • Codeine
  • Midazolam