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May 13, 1992

Effects of H2-Receptor Antagonists on Blood Alcohol Levels

Author Affiliations

Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine London, England

JAMA. 1992;267(18):2469. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480180055017

To the Editor.  —Based on an open study involving only six to eight subjects in each group, DiPadova et at1 reported that predosing with cimetidine resulted in a 96% mean increase of integrated postprandial alcohol absorption, and that ranitidine resulted in a 41% increase, when alcohol (0.3 g/kg) was imbibed immediately after breakfast.We have measured blood alcohol concentrations after a range of oral doses of postprandial alcohol (0.15, 0.3, and 0.6 g/kg body weight) in healthy subjects, on the eighth day of dosing with placebo or an H2-blocker (cimetidine, ranitidine, or famotidine).2-4 Representative results are shown in the Figure. No significant differences of integrated postprandial blood alcohol concentration was observed after dosing with any of the H2-blockers. The results of our investigations, which involved placebo-controlled absorption profiles in 92 healthy subjects ingesting ethanol after a standard evening meal, demonstrate no socially or clinically