Radiop (Injection, Ureteral)

Radiop is a radiopaque contrasting agent containing iodine that is used during x-ray imaging to provide contrast and a better image of the organ or areas under study.


What is Radiop?

Radiop contains iodine, which is an element discovered hundreds of years ago. Iodine is used for many purposes from nutritional to the production of polymer. The characteristic that makes iodine useful as a radiopaque agent or radiop is its high atomic number. When the iodine found in radiop is taken in by the human body in a large amount, it saturates the area and provides contrast to the image taken with an x-ray.

Iodine is itself an essential mineral or nutrient of the body, so use of this element in drugs like radiop is usually safe to use under many circumstances and is eliminated by the body during the normal waste process. There are, however, patients who are allergic to radiop and agents like it, which is one of the reasons it is available in different weights and doses. Radiop is for use by a physician only; typically a radiologist or a doctor in the radiology department.

How does Radiop work?

Radiop agents are used in many forms of diagnosis including diseases in the urinary tract as well as diseases in the fallopian tubes or uterus. A syringe or catheter is used to inject the radiop into the ureters or bladder. The substance concentrates in these areas, blocking the x-ray image and turning that portion into a white image, in contrast to the surrounding tissues. This contrast distinguishes the organ or area in question, which is useful for the physician to view the organ or area with greater precision than an x-ray without the radiop agent.

Before x-ray imaging with a dose of radiop contrast agent, you will be provided with some directions to follow in preparation for the test. These instructions could involve laxative enemas, vaginal douches or special diets; the instructions will obviously depend on the test you are having done. You will typically be instructed to empty your bladder just before the test, which is in your best interest to be comfortable and also so the test results can be clearer. Patients who are on dialysis and receive the GBCA form of radiop (gadolinium) may be given dialysis after the test to assist with removal of the extra iodine from their body.

Conditions Treated

  • Diseases of the urinary tract
  • Diseases of the reproductive system
  • Diseases of the uterus
  • Diseases of the fallopian tubes

Type of Medicine

  • Radiopaque contrast agent

Side Effects

In providing an x-ray blocking concentration in the body, radiop in large amounts may trigger an allergic reaction in some patients. Typically, patients who react to radiop do so immediately upon being given the dose or a few moments after. Usually these reactions aren't serious and, since patients are only given radiop in a hospital setting under a doctor's supervision, any medical assistance required urgently is available. Patients being given radiop should let the medical staff know if they experience the following:

  • Stomach or abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Ache concentrated in the back area

Patients given GBCA forms, specifically gadolinium containing agents, could experience:

  • Itchy, burning skin
  • Stiff joints
  • Partial paralysis in arms, legs, feet or hands
  • Weak muscles
  • Deep pain in the rib cage or hip bones
  • Dark, red skin patches
  • Swollen, tight or hard skin
  • Whites of the eyes show raised, yellow spots

As your system adjusts to the dose of radiop, the effects listed below may temporarily arise, but will most likely go away with time. Your health care provider will be prepared with ways to calm or alleviate these symptoms, should they occur:

  • Stomach or abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Chills

It is possible to experience side effects other than those listed, so any abnormal symptoms you experience after being given a dose of radiop should be reported to your medical team with due haste so that they can be aware of a possible reaction in your body.


Radiop contrast agents are used in the process of x-ray imaging, which typically requires that the dosage be determined based on many factors. The patient's age, x-ray equipment that is to be used and, for tests involving the urinary tract, the size of the bladder is all taken into account when choosing which concentration of radiop contrast agent to use.

Radiop and contrasting agents like it are divided into classes according to the concentration amounts. There are high and low iodine concentration formulas of radiop available to the radiologist; the low concentrations are newer and, therefore, cost more to use. High concentration agents are safe choices and wise for most patients. Patients who may experience reactions to radiop that could be allergy related may be given low concentration agents. These patients include asthma sufferers or those who have a history of being allergic to various substances.


Radiop is an extremely powerful drug that can have unexpected effects on the body that are sometimes dangerous. Discuss all effects of radiop with your health care advisors prior to treatment and let them know of any other medications you are currently taking. Include all information on non-prescription as well as prescription medication and even holistic, herbal and vitamin supplements.

There are certain medications that should never be taken together for any reason and others that work harmoniously to fight the diseases from different angles. Your physician will want to know about all medications you are taking prior to using radiop in a diagnostic test on your reproductive organs or urinary tract in case the medications you are on need adjustment to their dosage.

Discuss the use of radiop radiopaque agent drugs in conjunction with tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, or illegal drugs with your health care professional in case of unwanted drug interactions.

You will most likely be given a set of instructions to follow before x-ray imaging with a dose of radiop contrast agent in order to prepare for the test. These instructions could include laxative enemas, vaginal douches or a special diet. These instructions should be followed carefully in order to provide the best test results and to keep you safe. Most likely, you will be instructed to empty your bladder immediately before the test. Dialysis patients who receive the GBCA form of radiop (known as gadolinium) will most likely be given dialysis after the test to assist their body in removing the radiop.


In the interest of providing safe, effective care, your medical team will inform you of any information you need to be aware of prior to use of radiop during a medical test. As the test itself is about protecting your health and providing care, use of radiop certainly outweighs most risks and side effects. However, even patients with dire health circumstances should consider these possibilities:

If you have had symptoms that were determined to be allergic in nature to another drug, you should inform your health care team of this fact. Additionally, allergies to animals, dyes, foods or preservatives should also be made known to your medical team.

As far as use of radiop and other radiopaque agents in pediatric patients, no specific studies have been made available that indicate that there could be more severe or unexpected side effects or issues with patients of a young age. Similarly, geriatric patients have not been studied for effectiveness or problems with regard to their age and use of radiop.

Women who are pregnant should not have tests involving radiop for the length of their pregnancy and at least six months afterwards, as they risk infections. An additional risk, which has been determine to be rare, is that the baby could develop an underactive condition in the thyroid known as hypothyroidism due to the high concentration of iodine. Above the use of radiop itself, x-ray images concentrated on the abdominal area are not recommended during pregnancy whatsoever. For these reasons, your physician should be informed if you are pregnant before being tested with radiop.

Breastfeeding after the use of radiop has been shown to pass on trace amounts of the agent, which may or may not harm babies who are nursing. As a precaution, it may be advised that breast-feeding halt on a temporary basis after you receive radiop testing. Discuss breastfeeding with your doctor prior to taking a test with radiop.

If you have been diagnosed with the following medical issues or diseases, testing with radiop may not be effective or safe for you. Make sure you inform your health care provider if you have:

  • Liver diseases
  • Kidney problems, chronic or acute (avoid GBCA use)
  • Allergic reactions to pollen or grasses
  • Asthma
  • Allergic reactions to penicillin substances
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Infections of the genital or urinary tracts
  • Inflammation of the pelvis

The radiop agent on the market that is named GBCA or gadolinium, it has been found that being exposed to this compound by patients with low renal function causes a condition known as nephrogenic (kidney) systempic fibrosis or NSF. NSF is a disease involving the kidneys, which can begin to form excess tissue that is fibrous in nature. NSF could also become serious, involve the skin and muscles, eventually reduced kidney function and even lead to death in some patients. It is very critical to inform your cancer care team of all illnesses you have at the time of your test procedure as well as any other symptoms you may have in order to protect your state of health. Burning, itchy skin, dark, red spots on the skin, swollen, tight, hard skin or spots that appear yellow on the eyes should all be reported to the physician treating you. Deep pain in your ribs or hip bones or finding that your arms or legs are hard to move should lead you to contact your health care provider right away as they may possibly be signs of NSF.

Thyroid testing after being given radiop could demonstrate results that are skewed or inaccurate. Inform your health care professionals if you have been tested with radiop prior to receiving a thyroid test.


Radiop is only administered in a professional medical setting such as a hospital or clinic, so storage information is not up to the patient in these types of contrast agents. However, it is advised by the manufacturers that radiop and other contrast agents are to be stored at room temperature and kept away from sources of light. It is advised that, after dilution of the drug, if required, that it be used immediately.


Radiop is a contrast agent that is administered for the purpose of providing contrast during x-ray imaging by radiology technical staff, radiologists or physicians. Because of the high weight of the iodine found in radiop, it settles in the organ or area it is administered to, such as the uterus or urinary tract. It then blocks the x-ray image, providing a white contrasted picture of the organ or area for examination by a medical doctor to determine different conditions. Without this contrast, the area or organ that needed to be examined with imaging would blend in to the surrounding tissues and be more difficult to see.

The iodine found in radiop agents may cause reactions that are allergy related to patients who are already allergic to dyes or preservatives, foods or animals. To be safe and ensure an effective test using radiop, patients are urged to communicate their drug history as well as medical history and include any over the counter, vitamin or herbal therapies as well.

Unwanted effects could occur, so any vomiting, nausea, stomach ailments or pains in the back area should be reported to the medical staff administering radiop to you. Typically any irritations you may experience are temporary and are relieved as soon as the radiop agent is relieved from your body.

Patients who have kidney problems are advised to avoid radiop testing using an agent known as GBCA or gadolinium, due to their higher risk for NSF which involves the kidneys as well as the organs, muscles and skin. Those with allergies to other substances or infections in the areas to be tested should also be advised to avoid testing with radiop or to use lower concentrations of iodine.

Dosage is determined by many factors including the organ or area to be imaged as well as the patient's overall health, condition, body size and age.


Last Reviewed:
January 31, 2018
Last Updated:
April 05, 2018