A Review of Food-Drug Interactions on Oral Drug Absorption

Drugs. 2017 Nov;77(17):1833-1855. doi: 10.1007/s40265-017-0832-z.


Food effect, also known as food-drug interactions, is a common phenomenon associated with orally administered medications and can be defined as changes in absorption rate or absorption extent. The mechanisms of food effect and their consequences can involve multiple factors, including human post-prandial physiology, properties of the drug, and how the drug is administered. Therefore, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of these mechanisms when recommending whether a specific drug should be taken with or without food. Food-drug interactions can be clinically relevant, especially when they must be avoided to prevent undesirable effects or exploited to optimize medication therapy. This review conducts a literature search that examined studies on food effect. We summarized the literature and identified and discussed common food effect mechanisms. Furthermore, we highlighted drugs that have a clinically significant food effect and discussed the corresponding mechanisms. In addition, this review analyzes the effects of high-fat food or standard meals on the oral drug absorption rate and absorption extent for 229 drugs based on the Biopharmaceutics Drug Disposition Classification System and demonstrates an association between Biopharmaceutics Drug Disposition Classification System class and food effect.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Biopharmaceutics
  • Food-Drug Interactions / physiology*
  • Gastric Absorption*
  • Humans
  • Oral Mucosal Absorption*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations