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Histamine-2 Receptor Antagonists Do Not Alter Serum Ethanol Levels in Fed, Nonalcoholic Men

Jean-Pierre Raufman, MD; Vincent Notar-Francesco, MD; Robert D. Raffaniello, PhD; and Eugene W. Straus, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From the State University of New York-Health Science Center at Brooklyn, New York. Requests for Reprints: Jean-Pierre Raufman, MD, SUNY-Health Science Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 1196, Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098. Grant Support: By a grant from Merck Sharp and Dohme.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1993;118(7):488-494. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-118-7-199304010-00002
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Objective: To determine whether the four histamine-2 receptor antagonists currently available for the treatment of acid-peptic disorders in the United States alter serum ethanol levels after moderate alcohol consumption.

Design: Prospective, randomized crossover design comparing the effects of histamine-2 receptor antagonists and no treatment on serum ethanol levels. Each participant served as his own control.

Participants: Twenty-five healthy nonalcoholic men (21 to 35 years old); two participants were withdrawn before starting the study.

Setting: University medical center.

Intervention: Cimetidine (400 mg twice daily), famotidine (20 mg twice daily), nizatidine (150 mg twice daily), ranitidine (150 mg twice daily), and no treatment for 7 days. After the last dose of medication, participants ate a standard meal; 1 hour later they drank ethanol (0.3 g/kg body weight in 500 mL of orange juice) over 8 minutes.

Measurements: Simultaneous measurements of breath and serum (headspace gas chromatography) ethanol were made before and 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 minutes after ingestion of ethanol.

Results: Peak ethanol levels did not differ (mmol/L; mean ± SE) after cimetidine (3.0 ± 0.3), famotidine (2.9 ± 0.3), nizatidine (2.9 ± 0.3), ranitidine (3.1 ± 0.4), and no treatment (2.9 ± 0.4). Similarly, there was no difference in the area under the curve (mmol/L x h; mean ± SE) after cimetidine (4.3 ± 0.5), famotidine (3.8 ± 0.4), nizatidine (4.2 ± 0.5), ranitidine (3.9 ± 0.4), and no treatment (4.0 ± 0.5).

Conclusions: In healthy nonalcoholic men, the histamine-2 receptor antagonists currently available in the United States do not alter serum ethanol levels following moderate alcohol consumption after an evening meal.

Figures

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Figure 1.
Effect of H-2 blocker treatment on serum ethanol concentration.

Serum ethanol concentrations in 23 men following postprandial ingestion of 0.3 g/kg body weight ethanol after 7 days of cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine, ranitidine, or no treatment was determined at the times indicated. Ethanol were measured by headspace gas chromatography. Bars represent largest standard error of the mean of the five values at each time point.

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Figure 2.
Within-person differences in peak serum ethanol concentration.

Histograms showing the frequency (%), within the indicated ranges, of net peak serum ethanol concentrations for 23 participants after treatment with each of four H-2 blockers.

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Figure 3.
Within-person differences in serum ethanol area-under-the-curve.

Histograms showing the frequency (%), within the indicated ranges, of net serum ethanol area-under-the-curve values for 23 participants after treatment with each of four H-2 blockers.

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Figure 4.
Comparison of peak breath and serum ethanol concentrations.

Values shown represent peak ethanol concentrations measured using the Lion Alcolmeter breath analyzer and gas chromatography of serum samples after treatment with H-2 blockers and no treatment in 23 participants. Although labeled Breath Ethanol Peak for clarity, values determined using the Lion Alcolmeter actually represent blood ethanol concentrations. The correlation coefficient (r) was calculated with a least-squares analysis.

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Figure 5.
Comparison of peak serum ethanol concentration and area-under-the-curve in Asian and non-Asian participants.TopBottom

Bars represent mean peak serum ethanol concentration ( ) and area-under-the-curve ( ) in 6 Asian and 17 non-Asian men after postprandial ingestion of 0.3 g/kg body weight ethanol after 7 days of cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine, ranitidine, or no treatment. Error bars represent standard error of the mean.

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