Piperine has various pharmacological effects and can modulate the functional activity of metabolic enzymes and drug transporters. Consequently, there is a great interest in the application of piperine as an alternative medicine or bioavailability enhancer. Areas covered: This review deals with the effects of piperine on metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters. It provides the readers with an update on transporter-mediated and also metabolic enzyme-mediated piperine-drug interactions, with emphasis on its in vivo implications. This article also encompasses recent advances in the formulation approaches and technologies for optimizing the delivery of piperine. Expert opinion: Piperine can influence the pharmacokinetics of coadministered drugs, which may result in a therapeutically beneficial or adverse effect. Given that piperine inhibits or stimulates the activity of metabolic enzymes and transporters depending on the treatment conditions, the clinical significance of piperine-drug interactions should be assessed by varying the dose, dosing frequency, and the duration of treatment. In particular, better understanding the clinical relevance of piperine-drug interactions based on long-term assessments will provide a strong basis for the feasibility and applicability of piperine as a bioenhancer or a health-promoting agent. The development of effective formulations is also critical to facilitate the therapeutic applications of piperine.
Keywords: Piperine; drug metabolizing enzymes; drug-diet interaction; formulation; transporters.