QIs there data on oral cimetidine for widespread molluscum lesions?

Richard Winkelmann, DO

Richard Winkelmann, DO

Director for Dermatology and Mohs Surgery
Optum Care
Los Angeles, CA

Molluscum contagiosum, manifesting most commonly in children, is caused by a pox virus.Treatments commonly include liquid nitrogen, topical tretinoin and also as been treated with cimetidine. At a dose of 30–40 mg/kg/day, oral cimetidine has been used in children and adults.2 In two patients, one with 60 lesions and the other with 200 lesions, cimetidine at 40 mg/kg/day in four divided doses for six weeks cleared all lesions.3 However, other studies find it ineffective.4 There is no evidence from double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that cimetidine clears molluscum contagiosum.5 I always reassure my patients that even without treatment, most cases resolve on their own within 2 years.


  1. Yashar et al. Pediatr Dermatol 1999
  2. Husar et al. Clin Dermatol 2002
  3. Sharma. Dermatology 1998
  4. Cunningham et al. Pediatr Dermatol 1998
  5. Scheinfeld. Dermatology Online Journal 2003