Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) is present not only in the liver but also in the small intestine, where it functions as a barrier against xenobiotics. Some CYP3A4 substrates exhibit low bioavailability due to intestinal first pass metabolism. The AUCs of such CYP3A4 substrates are remarkably changed by the inhibition, induction, and saturation of CYP3A4 and so prediction of intestinal first-pass metabolism is important. In this article, factors affecting intestinal first-pass metabolism of drugs are reviewed, focusing on the intestinal metabolism by CYP3A. The methods to predict intestinal first-pass metabolism are also reviewed.
2008 by The Japanese Society for the Study of Xenobiotics