Gadoterate (Intravenous)

Overview

During an MRI (magnetic image resonance) scan, you will need to receive a contrast agent to help create a clearer final picture. Gadoterate is one such contrast agent that is commonly used. During the MRI itself, computers and magnets will be used to build up pictures of areas inside your body. It is a special kind of diagnostics procedure which, unlike x-rays, does not involve the use of ionizing radiation.

Gadoterate is, in fact, a GDBA (gadolinium-based contrast agent), and is given as an injection before you enter the MRI machine. It is used for diagnosing neck, brain, head, and spine problems, as well as some other areas of the body. You can only receive Gadoterate following a prescription from your doctor. You will not be required to inject it yourself at any point.

Condition(s) treated

  • MRI scan

Type of medicine

  • Solution

Side Effects

As well as helping during MRI procedures, it is possible that Gadoterate could cause a range of unwanted side effects to occur. These side effects are not necessarily very severe, and many may pass very quickly. However, if you experience any of the following after having received your Gadoterate injection, you should inform your doctor immediately.

Rare

  • Pounding in your ears

Incidence not known

  • Fainting

As already mentioned, there are some side effects that may simply pass over time. This is as your body adjusts to and becomes used to the medicine. However, if they are worrying you or are persistent, then you should inform your doctor. They may be able to advise certain ways to help reduce the effects you are experiencing. They can also answer any concerns or questions you might have.

Rare

  • Fear

Incidence not known

  • Pleasant, transient, mild aromatic odor

Though the above lists are extensive, they are not necessarily complete. Gadoterate may, in fact, cause some patients to experience side effects that are not listed here. If that is the case, and if you are worried at all, then you should contact your doctor. They may be able to advise ways to reduce the effects or can answer any questions you have regarding them.

Dosage

You will not need to worry about any dosage requirements as this will be decided by the administering nurse or doctor. It is given as an injection just before you go in for your MRI scan. If you have any questions about the dose, you can discuss this with the trained health professional responsible for administering it.

Interactions

It may well be the case that Gadoterate will interact with other drugs you are currently taking. In some cases, these interactions may need to be avoided where possible. However, in other cases, the interactions may be less severe and worrying. If this is the case, then the doctor may still advise using the two together. If the interaction should be avoided, then your doctor may well alter your dosage of one or both of the medicines or prescribe a different drug altogether. Either way, you should be honest with your doctor in disclosing all drugs you currently take. This includes any prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as any herbal vitamins or supplements. Directly below is a list of drugs that are known to cause moderate interactions when taken at the same time as Gadoterate. It is usually recommended that you do not use any of these drugs alongside Gadoterate.

  • Diltiazem Hydrochloride XT (diltiazem)

As well as drugs, it is possible that Gadoterate will interact with certain parts of your diet. This includes what you eat, drink, and smoke. Your doctor may need to make adjustments to your diet to help avoid unwanted interactions.

It is possible that Gadoterate will interact with other medical problems you suffer from. In particular the following.

  • High blood pressure (hypertension): You should use this with caution as you may have a higher chance of reduced kidney function

Warnings

Before you are prescribed this drug, your doctor will first consult with you to see if it is suitable. As part of this, you should make them aware of any allergies you suffer from. That includes those to animals, preservatives, drugs, foods, or dyes.

The studies performed on children have not identified any signs that this drug is less useful. However, do be aware that safety and efficacy have only been established in children aged 2 years old and above.

Similarly, the studies performed on elderly patients have not highlighted any geriatric-specific problems that would make Gadoterate less useful. However, elderly patients tend to be more susceptible to kidney problems. In such cases, added caution should be exercised.

As for writing, it is unclear as to whether appropriate studies have been carried out on pregnant women using Gadoterate. Your doctor can advise you of any increased risks.

Whilst receiving this medicine, and then during the MRI, your doctor will want to examine how you react. This is to look out for any unwanted effects.

If you suffer from kidney disease, then you are at greater risk of experiencing a very serious disease, which is known as NSF (nephrogenic systemic fibrosis). Even with this, it may be necessary for your doctor to use this medicine. If you experience any of the following symptoms, then advise your doctor immediately as it could be a sign of NSF.

  • Muscle weakness

It is possible that Gadoterate could cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. This is life-threatening and requires you to seek immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the following, having received Gadoterate, inform your doctor immediately.

If you experience a feeling of coldness or warmth, a burning pain, peeling of the skin, redness, or swelling at the injection site, then inform your doctor right away.

Storage

You will not be responsible for storing Gadoterate.

Summary

If you are about to have an MRI scan, then Gadoterate is a contrast agent that is commonly used to help build a better final picture of your condition. However, do be aware that it is not necessarily suitable for all patients. In particular, it is known to interact with a wide array of drugs and other medical conditions. Therefore, your doctor will need to first examine you to ensure you are given a safe and suitable contrast agent.

Above, you can find details of many of the side effects you may experience after having taken Gadoterate. If you are worried by your symptoms and would like to discuss them or to seek relief, then you should discuss this with your doctor. If you have any other questions regarding the use of this drug, your healthcare professional is best placed to answer them.