Calcific periarthritis or calcific tendinitis occurs most frequently in the shoulder and rarely in the elbow. Cimetidine was previously reported to be effective for chronic calcific periarthritis of the shoulder. Here, we present five patients with chronic calcific periarthritis of the elbow treated by administration of cimetidine; there were six affected elbows in these five patients. Although all patients had been treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 3 months, their symptoms were not relieved. All patients took oral administration of cimetidine 400 mg daily. The pain was completely relieved in an average of 1.8 months after the administration of cimetidine, and the calcification of the elbow disappeared in an average of 5.1 months. During the follow-up period, there were no symptoms suggesting a recurrence. Although the detailed mechanism of action of cimetidine on periarticular calcifications remains to be understood, cimetidine appears to be a potential therapeutic agent for chronic calcific periarthritis.
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