Does oral cimetidine work for warts?

Many doctors, including GPs, believe the H2-receptor antagonist is effective for common warts. But others are not so sure.

In an online GP discussion board, cimetidine, a H2-receptor antagonist, is frequently suggested as a treatment for warts.

Interestingly, this is met with both strong recommendations (anecdotes of personal experience and reports of approval from specialist colleagues), and scepticism (we know that most common warts will resolve in time and so there is a high ‘placebo’ response).

So, what does the evidence say?

Clinical question

What is the effectiveness of the oral cimetidine as treatment of common warts?

What does the research evidence say?

Step 1: The Cochrane Library
No Cochrane systematic review exists for the question.

However, its search engine very helpfully listed 18 matches to the search term “cimetidine warts” from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials.