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Digestion. 1990;46(2):61-4.

Effect of cimetidine on hepatic vitamin D metabolism in humans.

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Gastroenterology Unit, Soroka Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


Cimetidine inhibits the action of vitamin D-hydroxylase (a hepatic mixed-function oxidase) in the rat. Therefore, the hypothesis was tested that this H2 receptor antagonist would affect vitamin D metabolism in humans. Nine adult patients were treated with 400 mg cimetidine orally twice daily during a period from winter to summer, when days were becoming longer. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D were monitored before treatment, after 4 weeks of treatment, and 1 month after cessation of treatment. No seasonal increase in the level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was observed during the period of treatment, but the level rose significantly after withdrawal of the drug. The other hydroxylates of vitamin D were not affected. Levels of albumin, total calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase remained normal. The data suggest that short-term treatment with cimetidine could potentially perturb vitamin D metabolism in man.

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