Effects of famotidine and cimetidine on plasma levels of epidurally administered lignocaine

Anaesthesia. 1990 Sep;45(9):719-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1990.tb14437.x.


The effects of two H2-receptor antagonists, famotidine and cimetidine, on the plasma levels of epidurally administered lignocaine were studied. Group A (n = 20) received famotidine 20 mg orally the night before surgery and 20 mg intramuscularly 60 minutes before induction of anaesthesia. Group B (n = 15) received cimetidine 200 mg orally the night before the surgery and 400 mg orally 60 minutes before the anaesthetic induction. Group C (n = 20) received neither famotidine nor cimetidine and served as controls. Twelve millilitres of 2.0% lignocaine with adrenaline 1:200,000 was injected into the epidural space in all patients, after the establishment of general anaesthesia with nitrous oxide, oxygen, and enflurane (0.3-0.5%). The patients who received cimetidine showed significantly higher plasma concentrations of lignocaine compared with either group A or group C at all investigation times (p less than 0.01). The mean peak plasma concentrations were 2.4 (SEM 0.1), 3.2 (SEM 0.2) and 2.3 (SEM 0.1) micrograms/ml in group A, B, and C, respectively. This study suggests that famotidine is preferable to cimetidine for control of gastric acidity before the use of lignocaine as the epidural anaesthetic.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Epidural*
  • Cimetidine / pharmacology*
  • Famotidine / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage
  • Lidocaine / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / prevention & control
  • Preanesthetic Medication*
  • Time Factors


  • Famotidine
  • Cimetidine
  • Lidocaine