A multicenter cohort analysis of fractures in histamine-2-receptor antagonist treated pediatric patients.

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DOI: 10.1080/03007995.2022.2037847


BACKGROUND: Histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RA) are amongst the most entrenched antacid therapies available including over-the-counter. They have an excellent safety profile including no known teratogenic risk. Fracture risk is generally recognized with chronic proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy in adults and children although the related mechanism is poorly understood. The analogous risk in H2RAs, including in children, is unclear. We studied the fracture risk and characteristics among hospitalized pediatric patients exposed to H2RA compared to an untreated cohort.

METHODS: The Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) multicenter database was queried for hospital encounters of children aged 6 months - 15.5 years and between 7/2016 and 8/2017. Patients with comorbidities and medications including PPI that predispose for fractures were excluded from the cohort and a propensity-matched control was identified. The subjects and controls were followed for 2 years for hospitalization with fracture diagnoses.

RESULTS: Our cohort included 3526 patients with exposure to H2RA and matched controls. Fractures were reported in 1% of patients (67) with no statistical difference between the groups. Upper, then lower extremity fractures were the most common in both groups. Axial skeleton fractures were the least frequently encountered fractures among both groups.

CONCLUSION: H2RA exposure is not associated with an increased risk of fracture in hospitalized children exposed to H2RA when compared with a matched untreated cohort, further studies are needed to determine if long-term exposure to H2RA may be associated with fracture risk in both those with and without comorbidities or on fracture predisposing medication.

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Current medical research and opinion





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Child; Child, Preschool; Cohort Studies; Fractures, Bone; Histamine; Histamine H2 Antagonists; Humans; Infant; Retrospective Studies


Adverse effects; Bone/epidemiology; Fractures; Gastroesophageal Reflux/drug therapy; Histamine H2 Antagonists/therapeutic use; Retrospective Studies United States/epidemiology; acid-suppression; peptic ulcer disease therapy

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