H(2) antagonist-induced thrombocytopenia: is this a real phenomenon?

Intensive Care Med. 2002 Apr;28(4):459-65. doi: 10.1007/s00134-002-1233-6. Epub 2002 Mar 12.


Critically ill patients routinely receive H(2) antagonists for stress ulcer prophylaxis while at risk for gastrointestinal bleeding. In these patients it is often difficult to assess accurately the cause of adverse effects such as thrombocytopenia. We evaluate the literature to better define thrombocytopenia related to H(2) antagonist administration and discuss mechanism, potential as a risk factor and case reports describing the severity and duration of thrombocytopenia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cimetidine / adverse effects
  • Critical Care
  • Famotidine / adverse effects
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Peptic Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Ranitidine / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombocytopenia / chemically induced*


  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Famotidine
  • Cimetidine
  • Ranitidine