Interactions between antiretrovirals and complementary and African traditional medicines

The use of traditional/complementary/alternate medicines in HIV/AIDS patients who reside in Southern Africa is quite common. This review looks at the mechanisms of pharmacokinetic interactions and summarises the published clinical studies and case reports of antiretroviral-herbal interactions. In vitro screening studies of several African traditional medicinal plants and extracts are described and details given in a very useful table.

The review highlights the lack of clinical studies – despite a high incidence of HIV/AIDS in the African region, only one clinical study (efavirenz and Hypoxis hemerocallidea) has been conducted. More studies on African traditional medicines are warranted in order for more meaningful data to be generated and the true potential for such interactions to be determined.

Source: (24 November 2011).


Müller AC, Kanfer I. Potential pharmacokinetic interactions between antiretrovirals and medicinal plants used as complementary and African traditional medicines. Biopharm Drug Dispos, 2011, 32(8): 458-470.

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