Role of Cytochrome P450 2C8 in Drug Metabolism and Interactions

Pharmacol Rev. 2016 Jan;68(1):168-241. doi: 10.1124/pr.115.011411.


During the last 10-15 years, cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C8 has emerged as an important drug-metabolizing enzyme. CYP2C8 is highly expressed in human liver and is known to metabolize more than 100 drugs. CYP2C8 substrate drugs include amodiaquine, cerivastatin, dasabuvir, enzalutamide, imatinib, loperamide, montelukast, paclitaxel, pioglitazone, repaglinide, and rosiglitazone, and the number is increasing. Similarly, many drugs have been identified as CYP2C8 inhibitors or inducers. In vivo, already a small dose of gemfibrozil, i.e., 10% of its therapeutic dose, is a strong, irreversible inhibitor of CYP2C8. Interestingly, recent findings indicate that the acyl-β-glucuronides of gemfibrozil and clopidogrel cause metabolism-dependent inactivation of CYP2C8, leading to a strong potential for drug interactions. Also several other glucuronide metabolites interact with CYP2C8 as substrates or inhibitors, suggesting that an interplay between CYP2C8 and glucuronides is common. Lack of fully selective and safe probe substrates, inhibitors, and inducers challenges execution and interpretation of drug-drug interaction studies in humans. Apart from drug-drug interactions, some CYP2C8 genetic variants are associated with altered CYP2C8 activity and exhibit significant interethnic frequency differences. Herein, we review the current knowledge on substrates, inhibitors, inducers, and pharmacogenetics of CYP2C8, as well as its role in clinically relevant drug interactions. In addition, implications for selection of CYP2C8 marker and perpetrator drugs to investigate CYP2C8-mediated drug metabolism and interactions in preclinical and clinical studies are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8 / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8 Inducers / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions / genetics
  • Drug Interactions / physiology*
  • Enzyme Repression / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Pharmacogenetics


  • Antimalarials
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8 Inducers
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8