Nov 1, 1988

Haematological adverse effects of histamine H2-receptor antagonists

Medical Toxicology and Adverse Drug Experience
J P AymardF Streiff


Histamine H2-receptor antagonists are widely used in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases related to gastric acid hypersecretion. Cimetidine was introduced into medical practice in 1976 and ranitidine, famotidine and nizatidine in 1981, 1985 and 1987, respectively. Haematological adverse effects are relatively uncommon and most have been reported in cases of cimetidine administration. These adverse effects are reviewed under 4 main headings: (a) blood cytopenias and leucocytosis; (b) coagulation disorders related to drug interactions with oral anticoagulants; (c) reduction of dietary iron absorption; and (d) reduction of dietary cobalamin absorption. 85 reported cases of blood cytopenias attributed to these drugs are reviewed, of which 75 (88%) were associated with cimetidine therapy. In postmarketing surveillance studies, the incidence of cimetidine-associated blood cytopenia has been evaluated at about 2.3 per 100,000 patients. Neutropenia and agranulocytosis are by far the most frequently encountered. Whatever the drug or the type of cytopenia, this adverse effect is almost always rapidly reversible when treatment is stopped. Moreover, in several cases other factors such as underlying diseases or additional drugs could...Continue Reading

  • References116
  • Citations23


  • References116
  • Citations23

Mentioned in this Paper

Histamine Measurement
Gastric Juice
Hemorrhagic Septicemia
Anticoagulants, Oral
Cytochrome P450
Vitamin B 12

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