Skip to Content
Here’s what to ask a doctor about hereditary angioedema

Cimetidine Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Cimetidine is also known as: Acid Reducer-Cimetidine, Equaline Acid Reducer, Leader Heartburn Relief, Tagamet, Tagamet HB

Cimetidine Pregnancy Warnings

Cimetidine has been assigned to pregnancy category B by the FDA. Animal studies have failed to reveal evidence of fetal harm. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Cimetidine crosses the placenta, bidirectionally, by slow, passive diffusion. However, cimetidine has been used safely during pregnancy to treat severe peptic ulcer disease as well as near term for the prevention of Mendelson's syndrome. Cimetidine is only recommended for use during pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk.

Placental transfer of cimetidine is slow. In one study, the fetal/maternal ratio averaged 0.46 two hours after intravenous administration of cimetidine to the maternal placental circuit. Administration to both the fetal and maternal circuits resulted in equilibrium, with the fetal/maternal ratio averaging 1.01, for the duration of the two hour experiment. These data suggest that chronic dosing would result in increased exposure to the fetus compared to exposure following a single dose during labor. There are no adequate data on the safety of cimetidine during the first trimester. Cimetidine has been used safely and successfully during labor to prevent Mendelson's syndrome. The use of cimetidine in this setting does not affect the duration of labor or the pattern or intensity of contractions. Adverse fetal and neonatal effects have not been found in several studies documenting the use of cimetidine during labor and delivery.

See references

Cimetidine Breastfeeding Warnings

Following oral administration of cimetidine 400 mg in one patient, the peak milk concentration was 5 mcg/mL. The milk to plasma ratio ranged from 3.04 to 3.57. Following a chronic dosing regimen in the same patient, cimetidine milk concentrations remained relatively constant, with milk to plasma ratios greater, although variable, than those noted in the single dose study. The authors suggest an active transport mechanism is involved.

Cimetidine is excreted into human milk. While the manufacturer recommends avoiding use during lactation, cimetidine is considered compatible with breast-feeding by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. McCaughey W, Howe JP, Moore J, Dundee JW "Cimetidine in elective caesarean section." Anaesthesia 36 (1981): 167-72
  2. Thorburn J, Moir DD "Antacid therapy for emergency caesarean section." Anaesthesia 42 (1987): 352-5
  3. Ching MS, Mihaly GW, Morgan DJ, Date NM, Hardy KJ, Smallwood RA "Low clearance of cimetidine across the human placenta." J Pharmacol Exp Ther 241 (1987): 1006-9
  4. McAuley DM, Halliday HL, Johnston JR, Moore J, Dundee JW "Cimetidine in labour: absence of adverse effect on the high-risk fetus." Br J Obstet Gynaecol 92 (1985): 350-5
  5. Ostheimer GW, Morrison JA, Lavoie C, Sepkoski C, Hoffman J, Datta S "The effect of cimetidine on mother, newborn and neonatal neurobehavior." Anesthesiology 57 (1982): a405
  6. "Product Information. Tagamet (cimetidine)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.
  7. Schenker S, Dicke J, Johnson RF, Mor LL, Henderson GI "Human placental transport of cimetidine." J Clin Invest 80 (1987): 1428-34
  8. Hodgkinson R, Glassenberg R, Joyce TH, Coombs DW, Ostheimer GW, Gibbs CP "Comparison of cimetidine (Tagamet) with antacid for safety and effectiveness in reducing gastric acidity before elective cesarean section." Anesthesiology 59 (1983): 86-90
  9. McGowan WAW "Safety of cimetidine in obstetric patients." J R Soc Med 72 (1979): 902-7

References for breastfeeding information

  1. Somogyi A, Gugler R "Cimetidine excretion into breast milk." Br J Clin Pharmacol 7 (1979): 627-9
  2. "Product Information. Tagamet (cimetidine)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.
  3. Roberts RJ, Blumer JL, Gorman RL, et al "American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs: Transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk." Pediatrics 84 (1989): 924-36
  4. Committee on Drugs, 1992 to 1993 "The transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk." Pediatrics 93 (1994): 137-50

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Wolters Kluwer Health and is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This drug information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Multum Information Services, Inc. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. Copyright 2000-2008 Multum Information Services, Inc. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.