Flutemetamol F 18 (Intravenous)

The flutemetamol F 18 injection helps medical professionals detect cognitive functioning issues, such as Alzheimer's disease.


Flutemetamol F 18 is a Positron Emission Tomography scanning radiopharmaceutical comprised of the radionuclide fluorine-18. This means that flutemetamol F 18 is a radioactive agent and can be helpful for identifying and treating particular diseases or functions within the body. It is currently utilized to diagnose Alzheimer's disease.

The injection is paired with a PET scan to produce an image that allows medical professionals to see the brain for diagnosis and evaluation. Once the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging has been conducted, the density of ? amyloid neuritic plaque can be estimated to determine reasons for cognitive decline.

A negative scan reveals little to no neuritic signs and is a negative Alzheimer's diagnosis. A scan that is negative also lowers the probability of the cognitive impairment of a patient is because of Alzheimer's disease.

A positive scan reveals medium to high levels of amyloid neuritic plaque. While this is a sign of Alzheimer's disease, it is also common for older individuals with normal health to have this much neuritic plaque. People who have other kinds of neurologic conditions may also have a positive scan.

The flutemetamol F 18 injection must be given by a medical professional who has received specialized instruction in the area of nuclear medicine. The market for this medication is very low because the average price for a PET scan for someone who does not have insurance is about $3,000. Medical coverage currently doesn't cover amyloid imaging agents for people if they are not being studied in a clinical trial.

This medication is manufactured under the US brand name Vizamyl, and is currently available in solution form for injection. The FDA initially permitted flutemetamol (intravenous route) to be used within the United States in 2013.

Limitations of use

Positive scans are not a diagnosis of any disorder, including Alzheimer's disease.

It has not yet been determined whether or not the flutemetamol F 18 injection is both effective and safe for:

  • Observing patient therapy response
  • Investigating progression of neurologic medical issues, including dementia

Condition treated

  • Detection of cognitive issues such as Alzheimer's disease

Type of medicine

  • Radiopharmaceutical

Side effects

Medications can occasionally cause side effects that may be undesirable in addition to their necessary benefits. While typically not every side effect will take place, they could require medical care if they do take place.

Consult with your physician or nurse right away if you experience any of the side effects below:

Less common side effects (Medical care required)

  • Sensations of warmth
  • Redness of the upper chest, arms, neck or face

Certain side effects may take place but will not likely require medical care. These particular side effects may diminish over the course of treatment as the patient becomes more accustomed to the medication. Also, your physician may inform you of additional ways to reduce or prevent certain side effects that may be bothersome. Consult with your physician if the side effects below become prolonged, are troublesome, or if you have concerns or questions regarding them.

Less common side effects (Medical care not required)

Some patients may experience additional side effects that are not included here. If you observe other side effects, consult with your medical professional as soon as possible.

Contact your physician for healthcare advice regarding potential side effects. The FDA also accepts reports of side effects, and they can be reached by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.


A trained medical professional must give you this medication in a healthcare facility. It is administered by a healthcare professional inserting a needle into your vein immediately prior to having a PET scan.

Your physician will direct you to drink an adequate amount of fluids (preferably water) prior to and following the PET scan.

After receiving this injection, patients will likely feel the need to urinate immediately and very frequently following the medication and for 24 hours afterward.

Your medical professional should use an IV catheter that is short (less than 1.5 inches) in order to reduce the possibility of absorption of the medication in the catheter. Longer catheters could cause some of the dose to stick to the catheter. The medication must be administered as one bolus injection totaling 10mL or less. The bolus injection should be followed with 5 to 15 mL of 0.9% NaCl IV flush.


Drug interactions

Research on the pharmacodynamic drug to drug cooperation has determined that there are no drugs that have been found to alter results of flutemetamol F 18 imaging results.

It is still important to always alert your physician if you are taking additional medications. While some medications should never be taken at the same time, in certain circumstances several medications can be combined despite the possibility of interactions taking place. In these instances, your physician may be inclined to lower the dose, or they may decide to take other kinds of precautions to protect you as a patient. Always inform your physician of both nonprescription and prescription medications, including herbal and vitamin supplements.

Other Interactions

Some medications should not be taken near mealtime or around eating or drinking due to the increased chance of interactions taking place. The use of tobacco or food with some prescriptions can also impact the occurrence of interactions. Make sure that you are clear how this injection will impact the use of food, tobacco, and alcohol.


This medication is a radioactive prescription and your medical professional must take safety measures to lower the exposure of radiation during administration of the injection. You will need to drink more liquids than normal prior to and following administration of the injection. Drinking an excess amount of liquid and eliminating more frequently will reduce radiation impact on the bladder.

It is highly imperative that your physician carefully monitors your condition while you are taking this medication. This will give your doctor a chance to see if the medication is working as it should and it will give you a chance to determine if you'd like to stay on the medication.

This injection can trigger allergic reactions including difficulty breathing; sensations of warmth; or redness of the upper chest, arms, neck, or face. Be sure to inform your physician if any of these side effects take place.

Patients will be exposed to radioactivity while receiving a dose of this medication. For questions regarding this matter, consult with your medical care professional.

When choosing if a diagnostic test is beneficial for you, always compare all of the potential dangers of the test against all of the positive aspects it may provide. The choice to take this medication should be between you and your physician. It is important for patients to be aware that there are many contributing factors that can impact results of diagnostic tests. Consider the following aspects prior to having the flutemetamol F 18 injection.


Inform your physician if you have experienced allergic reactions to any medication, including flutemetamol F 18 or other medications. Also, be sure to inform your doctor if you have allergies to any kind of animal, preservative, dye, or food. Be sure you have read the ingredient summary for any products that are not prescribed by a doctor.

Specific Demographic Use


Children should not be given the flutemetamol F 18 injection.


Current research has not identified any issues that are specific to the elderly population that could inhibit the effectiveness of the flutemetamol F 18 injection for elderly patients.


Patients who are pregnant should take caution; any radiopharmaceutical can cause potential risk for the fetus. How much danger the fetus would be in if the mother is given this injection corresponds to how far developed the fetus is are and how large of a dose of the flutemetamol F 18 injection was given to the mother.

This medication should only be prescribed to a pregnant woman if indisputably necessary.

Any female that has the potential to become pregnant must take a pregnancy test prior to having this injection to avoid harm to the fetus.


Breastfeeding women should not take this medication as it is unknown whether or not the injection is disseminated through the breast milk. If a breastfeeding mother has the flutemetamol F 18 injection, she should first pump and then dispose of the breast milk for a 24-hour period.


Your healthcare professional will ensure that the flutemetamol F 18 injection is stored at 36-86°F (2-30ºC). There are no preservatives in this product. The injection must be stored in the original container. If the original container is not available, the same type of radiation shielding should be used for storage.


Flutemetamol F 18 is a Positron Emission Tomography scanning radiopharmaceutical made up of fluorine-18, a radionuclide. It is a powerful radioactive agent that can aid medical professionals in the treatment and diagnosis of certain cognitive diseases. It is most commonly used to discover whether or not a patient has Alzheimer's disease.

An experienced healthcare professional should give this medication to you in a medical care facility. Breastfeeding women should not take this medication if it can be avoided.