Premedication with cimetidine and metoclopramide. Effect on the risk factors of acid aspiration

Anaesthesia. 1986 May;41(5):486-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1986.tb13272.x.


A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study was conducted in adult females to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a combination of cimetidine 300 mg orally and metoclopramide 10 or 20 mg intravenously in reducing pre-operative residual gastric volume and raising gastric pH. The effect of preoperative metoclopramide on postoperative nausea and vomiting was also investigated. Oral cimetidine was given approximately 2-2.5 hours before, and intravenous metoclopramide either 15 or 30 minutes prior to induction of anaesthesia. The study showed that placebo-treated patients undergoing outpatient operations have an increased risk of acid aspiration because of high residual gastric volume and low pH and increased risk of serious pulmonary injury should acid aspiration occur. Metoclopramide 10 or 20 mg intravenously prior to induction of anaesthesia was effective in reducing the residual gastric volume significantly, but not in raising pH. The combination of cimetidine and metoclopramide, as well as cimetidine alone, reduced the risk factors of acid aspiration by raising gastric pH and reducing residual volume. No anti-emetic effect of metoclopramide was observed. Higher doses of metoclopramide (20 mg) produced significant side effects (flushing, dizziness, extrapyramidal side effects), but were only marginally more effective than 10 mg doses in reducing residual gastric volume.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cimetidine / administration & dosage
  • Cimetidine / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Gastric Juice / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Metoclopramide / administration & dosage
  • Metoclopramide / therapeutic use*
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / prevention & control*
  • Premedication*
  • Risk
  • Time Factors


  • Cimetidine
  • Metoclopramide