Omeprazole, ranitidine, and cimetidine have no effect on peak blood ethanol concentrations, first pass metabolism or area under the time-ethanol curve under 'real-life' drinking conditions

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1998 Feb;12(2):141-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.1998.00281.x.


Background: Considerable controversy persists over the influence of H2-receptor antagonists on the first pass clearance of ethanol. The majority of previously published studies have studied the effects of the drugs on low-dose ethanol in the fasting state. We elected to study the possible interaction under simulated real-life conditions.

Methods: Twenty-three volunteers were given 0.6 g/kg body weight ethanol in the form of 4.8% beer following a standardized meal. Blood ethanol levels were measured over the next 3 h. Studies were repeated using ethanol administered as an intravenous infusion while subjects consumed the same volume of de-alcoholized beer. The effects of a minimum of 2 weeks of dosing with cimetidine, ranitidine and omeprazole were examined.

Results: Following food, and with ethanol taken in the form of beer, mean first pass metabolism of ethanol was 58% (range 34-78%). No statistically significant difference was found following drug treatment in either percentage first pass metabolism, peak blood ethanol concentration or area under the time-blood ethanol curve.

Conclusion: Under these 'real-life' conditions, the concomitant administration of cimetidine, ranitidine or omeprazole is unlikely to have significant physical, social or forensic implications, since they do not significantly change ethanol elimination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Area Under Curve
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / blood
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cimetidine / pharmacology*
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Ethanol / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Omeprazole / pharmacology*
  • Ranitidine / pharmacology*
  • Reference Values


  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Ethanol
  • Cimetidine
  • Ranitidine
  • Omeprazole