Grapefruit juice produces a marked and variable increase in felodipine bioavailability. The pharmacokinetics of felodipine and its single primary oxidative metabolite, dehydrofelodipine, were studied after drug administration with 200 ml water, grapefruit juice, or naringin in water at the same concentration as the juice in a randomized crossover trial of nine healthy men. With grapefruit juice, mean +/- SEM felodipine area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) and peak plasma concentration (Cmax) were 206% +/- 23% (range, 123% to 330%, p < 0.01) and 170% +/- 24% (range, 127% to 310%, p < 0.02), respectively, compared with water. Dehydrofelodipine/felodipine ratios for AUC (1.5 +/- 0.2 versus 2.2 +/- 0.2, p < 0.001) and felodipine Cmax (1.5 +/- 0.2 versus 2.2 +/- 0.2, p < 0.001) were reduced, consistent with inhibition of presystemic felodipine metabolism. Intersubject changes in felodipine and dehydrofelodipine AUC supported inhibition of both primary and secondary metabolic steps as a mechanism. The interaction could not be predicted from baseline pharmacokinetics with water and did not result in more consistent bioavailability among individuals. Naringin solution produced much less of an interaction, showing that other factors were important.