Cimetidine as a single oral dose for prophylaxis against Mendelson's syndrome

Anaesthesia. 1978 Oct;33(9):775-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1978.tb08492.x.


Cimetidine, a histamine H2-receptor antagonist which inhibits gastric acid secretion, was administered as a single 400 mg oral dose before anaesthesia to forty-six patients undergoing elective gynaecological surgery. The incidence of gastric residue pH above 2.5 was significantly greater (P less than 0.001) in cimetidine treated patients than in thirty-seven control patients. No patient who received cimetidine between 4 and 6 h prior to anaesthesia had a gastric residue pH less than 2.5. These findings suggest that cimetidine may be effective as a prophylaxis against acid pulmonary aspiration (Mendelson's) syndrome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, General / adverse effects*
  • Cimetidine / administration & dosage
  • Cimetidine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Guanidines / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / prevention & control*
  • Stomach / physiology
  • Syndrome
  • Time Factors


  • Guanidines
  • Cimetidine