Grapefruit juice markedly increases the plasma concentrations and antiplatelet effects of ticagrelor in healthy subjects



Dr Janne T. Backman, MD, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, PO Box 705, FI-00029 HUS, Finland.

Tel.: +358 50 428 0997

Fax: +3589 4717 4039




This study examined the effects of grapefruit juice on the new P2Y12 inhibitor ticagrelor, which is a substrate of CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein.


In a randomized crossover study, 10 healthy volunteers ingested 200 ml of grapefruit juice or water thrice daily for 4 days. On day 3, they ingested a single 90 mg dose of ticagrelor.


Grapefruit juice increased ticagrelor geometric mean peak plasma concentration (Cmax) to 165% (95% confidence interval 147, 184%) and area under the concentration–time curve (AUC(0,∞)) to 221% of control (95% confidence interval 200, 245%). The Cmax and AUC(0,34 h) (P < 0.05) but not the AUC(0,∞) of the active metabolite C12490XX were decreased significantly. Grapefruit juice had a minor effect on ticagrelor elimination half-life prolonging it from 6.7 to 7.2 h (P = 0.036). In good correlation with the elevated plasma ticagrelor concentrations, grapefruit juice enhanced the antiplatelet effect of ticagrelor, assessed with VerifyNow® and Multiplate® methods, and postponed the recovery of platelet reactivity.


Grapefruit juice increased ticagrelor exposure by more than two-fold, leading to an enhanced and prolonged ticagrelor antiplatelet effect. The grapefruit juice–ticagrelor interaction seems clinically important and indicates the significance of intestinal metabolism to ticagrelor pharmacokinetics.