August 1981

Effect of Cimetidine on Serum Calcium Levels in an Elderly Patient

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York.

Arch Surg. 1981;116(8):1088-1089. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380200084018

• A 92-year-old woman with a normal serum calcium level received cimetidine postoperatively. She became severely hypocalcemic and exhibited tetany, seizures, and impaired mental status. Her condition responded to intravenous diazepam, phenytoin sodium, and gluconate calcium. Normal serum calcium levels were maintained by calcium infusions until the cimetidine treatment was stopped. Cimetidine may have been responsible for the observed complications due to its effect on serum parathyroid hormone level.

(Arch Surg 1981;116:1088-1089)