Gastrointestinal disease control after histamine2-receptor antagonist dose modification for renal impairment in frail chronically Ill elderly patients

Thomas E. Lackner, Tom Heard, Samantha Glunz, Nicole Gann, Maude Babington, Daniel C. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether histamine2-receptor antagonist (H2RA) dose modified for renal impairment affects gastrointestinal (GI) disease control. DESIGN: Concurrent medical record review. SETTING: One hundred forty-six nursing facilities throughout the United States. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred thirty-six patients aged 65 and older receiving H2RAs for GI disorders. INTERVENTION: H2RA dose modified for renal impairment or no dose change. MEASUREMENTS: Disease control (no H2RA dose increase for 6 months or longer, additional GI medication, hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and unscheduled physician visits for GI symptoms) was evaluated using chart review at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months in nursing home patients aged 65 and older with H2RA dose modified for decreased creatinine clearance (ClCr) according to manufacturer. RESULTS: Three hundred thirty-six patients, mean age ± standard deviation 85.9 ± 7.9, with mean ClCr of 33.6 ± 10.4 mL/min, were recommended to receive lower H2RA doses based upon estimated renal function. Patients were analyzed in two groups: H2RA dose reduced (Group 1) and dose reduction not adopted or implemented (Group 2). There was no difference in baseline characteristics (age, weight, ClCr, or starting H2RA dose and indication) between the two groups. One hundred ninety-eight patients in Group 1 were taking 195.5 ± 71.0 mg per day of nizatidine or equivalent, compared with 183.7 ± 66.6 mg for 138 patients in Group 2. For patients with 90 days of follow-up, the mean H2RA dose in Group 1 was 100.2 ± 44.3 mg, compared with 187.8 ± 69.9 for Group 2 (P < .0001) The mean decrease in daily dose for Groups 1 and 2 after 365 days were 98.9 ± 72.9 mg and 22.2 ± 68.2 mg, respectively (P < .0001). Except for more physician visits in Group 2, disease control was similar for all groups. Major and minor GI bleeding events were similar across both groups and over time. The 12-month mortality rate was 12.1% and 21.7% for Groups 1 and 2, respectively. This difference was statistically significant (P = .02). CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that the dose of H2RAs may be decreased based upon renal function in frail elderly patients without compromising GI disease control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-656
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Aged
  • Dosage
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Histamine H antagonists
  • Renal impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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