Cimetidine (Page 2 of 5)

Lower Esophageal Sphincter Pressure and Gastric Emptying

Cimetidine tablets has no effect on lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure or the rate of gastric emptying.


Cimetidine tablets are rapidly absorbed after oral administration and peak levels occur in 45 to 90 minutes. The half-life of cimetidine tablets is approximately 2 hours. Blood concentrations remain above that required to provide 80% inhibition of basal gastric acid secretion for 4 to 5 hours following a dose of 300 mg.

Following parenteral administration, most of the drug is excreted as the parent compound in the urine, the principle route of excretion of cimetidine tablets. After oral administration, the drug is extensively metabolized in which the sulfoxide is the major metabolite. Following a single oral dose, 48% of the drug is recovered from the urine after 24 hours as the parent compound.


Duodenal Ulcer

Cimetidine tablets have been shown to be effective in the treatment of active duodenal ulcer and, at reduced dosage, in maintenance therapy following healing of active ulcers.

Active Duodenal Ulcer

Cimetidine tablets accelerate the rate of duodenal ulcer healing. Healing rates reported in U.S. and foreign controlled trials with cimetidine tablets are summarized below, beginning with the regimen providing the lowest nocturnal dose.

Table 3. Duodenal Ulcer Healing Rates with Various Dosage Regimens of Cimetidine Tablets *
Averages from controlled clinical trials.


300 mg

4 times daily

400 mg

twice daily

800 mg

at bedtime

1600 mg

at bedtime

Week 4





Week 6




Week 8



A U.S., double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging study demonstrated that all once-daily at bedtime regimens of cimetidine tablets were superior to placebo in ulcer healing and that 800 mg of cimetidine tablets at bedtime healed 75% of patients at 4 weeks. The healing rate with 800 mg at bedtime was significantly superior to 400 mg at bedtime (66%) and not significantly different from 1600 mg at bedtime (81%).

In the U.S. dose-ranging trial, over 80% of patients receiving 800 mg of cimetidine tablets at bedtime experienced nocturnal pain relief after one day. Relief from daytime pain was reported in approximately 70% of patients after 2 days. As with ulcer healing, the 800 mg dose at bedtime was superior to 400 mg at bedtime and not different from 1,600 mg at bedtime.

In foreign, double-blind studies with 800 mg of cimetidine tablets at bedtime, 79% to 85% of patients were healed at 4 weeks.

While short-term treatment with cimetidine tablets can result in complete healing of the duodenal ulcer, acute therapy will not prevent ulcer recurrence after cimetidine tablets have been discontinued. Some follow-up studies have reported that the rate of recurrence once therapy was discontinued was slightly higher for patients healed on cimetidine tablets than for patients healed on other forms of therapy; however, the patients treated with cimetidine tablets generally had more severe disease.

Maintenance Therapy in Duodenal Ulcer

Treatment with a reduced dose of cimetidine tablets have been proven effective as maintenance therapy following healing of active duodenal ulcers.

In numerous placebo-controlled studies conducted worldwide, the percent of patients with observed ulcers at the end of 1 year’s therapy with 400 mg of cimetidine tablets at bedtime was significantly lower (10% to 45%) than in patients receiving placebo (44% to 70%). Thus, from 55% to 90% of patients were maintained free of observed ulcers at the end of 1 year with 400 mg of cimetidine tablets at bedtime.

Factors such as smoking, duration and severity of disease, gender, and genetic traits may contribute to variations in actual percentages.

Trials of other anti-ulcer therapy, whether placebo-controlled, positive-controlled or open, have demonstrated a range of results similar to that seen with cimetidine tablets.

Active Benign Gastric Ulcer

Cimetidine tablets have been shown to be effective in the short-term treatment of active benign gastric ulcer.

In a multicenter, double-blind U.S. study, patients with endoscopically confirmed benign gastric ulcer were treated with 300 mg of cimetidine tablets 4 times a day or with placebo for 6 weeks. Patients were limited to those with ulcers ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 cm in size. Endoscopically confirmed healing at 6 weeks was seen in significantly* more patients treated with cimetidine tablets than in patients receiving placebo, as shown below:

Table 4. Rate of Endoscopically Confirmed Gastric Ulcer Healing
p < 0.05

Cimetidine Tablets

(300 mg, 4 times daily)


Week 2

14/63 (22%)

7/63 (11%)

Total at week 6

43/65 (66%) *

30/67 (45%)

In a similar multicenter U.S. study of the 800 mg bedtime oral regimen, the endoscopically confirmed healing rates were:

Table 5. Rate of Endoscopically Confirmed Gastric Ulcer Healing
p = 0.005

Cimetidine Tablets

(800 mg at bedtime)


Total at week 6

63/83 (76%) *

44/80 (55%)

Similarly, in worldwide double-blind clinical studies, endoscopically evaluated benign gastric ulcer healing rates were consistently higher with cimetidine tablets than with placebo.

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