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January 1980

Cimetidine in Pregnancy: Apparent Transient Liver Impairment in the Newborn

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics; Division of Clinical Pharmacology; Division of Neonatology Department of Pediatrics The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 34th St and Civic Center Blvd Philadelphia, PA 19104

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(1):87-88. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130130069021

Cimetidine, a potent H2 receptor antagonist, recently introduced for the treatment of peptic ulcer and other related disorders, has gained widespread use. Most of the current knowledge of its use and effects is based on adult clinical trials. There is a lack of data on its effects in children and infants and virtually none on the human fetus. Animal studies using radioactive labeled cimetidine at doses of 100 mg/kg indicate that this drug crosses the placental barrier and has thus the potential of producing a systemic effect in utero. Elevated transaminase levels have been reported in adults,1.2 and cholestatic jaundice has been observed in children.3 This report concerns the finding of liver impairment in an infant born to a mother receiving cimetidine in the last trimester of her pregnancy.

Report of a Case.—This male patient was born to a 39-year-old, gravida 4, para 2, still-birth 1 whose