Techne

As a radiopharmaceutical, Techne sulfur colloid is useful for helping doctors to see a clear image of the internal organs when attempting to diagnose illness or to study organ function.

Overview

Techne is a radioactive agent which may be used either to study the condition and functioning of the organs within the body or to treat certain diseases. It can be used to help detect lymph node tumors in patients who are suspected of having breast cancer. It can also be used to help physicians to see a clear image of the patient's spleen, liver, bone marrow or peritoneovenous shunt, allowing them to ascertain how well each of these is functioning.

Cis sulfur colloid injections like Techne should only ever be administered under the direct supervision of a qualified doctor with a specialty in nuclear medicine. It is often injected, although specific routes are not applicable as it has a variety of applications, each of which can differ slightly in terms of method of administration.

This medical kit can be used in people of all ages - there is no limit on the usefulness of Techne in children or geriatrics in terms of helping doctors to create radiographical images of the bone marrow, spleen, liver or stomach cavity.

Conditions treated

  • Cancer

Type of medicine

  • Radiopharmaceutical

Side effects

Along with its required effects, Techne can also potentially cause unwanted side effects in some patients. Not all of these side effects will necessarily occur, and not all of them will require medical attention, although a small number of them might create cause for treatment dependent on the level of discomfort the patient feels he or she is in. The most common side effects associated with Techne include: cold or clammy skin, coughing, confusion, difficulty swallowing, a feeling of dizziness or faintess, fast pulse, increased heartbeat, welts or hives, itching, puffiness and swelling of the eyelids and around the lips, face or tongue, rash or redness of the skin, excess sweating, unusual weakness or tiredness, tightness within the chest and/or wheezing.

As the patient undergoes treatment with cis sulfur colloids, some of the aforementioned side-effects may subside, although others will continue to occur as a general bodily reaction to the materials involved. If any side effects worsen over time, the patient is advised to tell his or her doctor. In some instances, healthcare professionals may decide to discontinue treatment if the side effects outweigh the benefits of treatment with Techne.

Other side effects, which are reported rarely, albeit often enough to warrant mentioning, include fever, chills, heart stopping, no breathing, no pulse, no blood pressure, seizures and/or loss of consciousness.

Because Techne injections are generally only administered in a clinical setting, patients should be under observation during treatment and any of these serious side effects should be picked up by the team of healthcare professionals overseeing treatment.

As with all medicines, it is incredibly important for Techne to be administered only as designed by a qualified professional. This means that doctors should avoid administering more of the drug than is required, either in frequency or dose size. If the patient is at risk of exposure due to repeated use, the administering doctor should advise them as such.

Dosage

Techne should be administered by a doctor or another trained/qualified health professional at a hospital or clinic. It is often given by mouth or nasogastric tube (a tube inserted into the nose). During administration, it is common practice for Techne to be combined with a milk or dextrose feeding. This can help to protect the stomach or other organs.

This medication is available in a multidose reaction vial, with two solutions (A and B) which contain a sterile, non-radioactive, non-pyrogenic series of ingredients which are necessary to create the Techne sulfur colloid for oral or intravenous administration.

Each 10mL multi-dose reactive vial contains 2.3mg edetate disodium, 2.0mg sodium thiosulfate anhydrous and 18.1mg of gelatin, as well as:

  • Solution A vial with 1.8mL of 0.148N hydrochloric acid
  • Solution B vial with 1.8mL solution of sodium biphosphate and sodium hydroxide

When sterile and non-pyrogenic sodium pertechnetate is mixed with these components, the sulfur colloid injection which helps doctors to diagnose issues within the body is formed. It has a physical half-life of 6.02 hours.

The content of Solution A and Solution B are intended only for use in the preparation of Techne sulfur colloid injection, and should never be administered directly to the patient.

Doses may vary dependent on the procedure the patient is undergoing, and the administering doctor should be able to give an indication as to how much exposure to the compound the patient is likely to experience.

Interactions

Like all medications, Techne can potentially interact with other drugs or chemicals within the body, and these interactions can potentially change the way in which certain medicines work - by either limiting their efficacy or creating unwanted and potentially harmful side effects. For these reasons, it is imperative that patients keep a fully up-to-date, detailed list of all medicines they are currently taking. This extends to herbal supplements, over the counter medications and vitamins as well as prescription medications.

It is not known whether Techne interacts with any medications. However, this does not mean that no interactions exist. Patients are still advised to provide their healthcare provider with a full list of medicines they are currently undergoing treatment with, and to report any experienced interactions to their healthcare provider and to the FDA.

Warnings

Techne should only be administered in a clinical setting. This will allow a team of professionals to monitor the condition of the patient, to understand whether the medicine is working properly and to decide whether its continued use can be justified.

In certain cases, this medicine may cause a very serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This condition requires immediate medical attention and can potentially be fatal. The most serious signs of anaphylactic shock involve gasping for breath, wheezing, fast breathing and fainting. Other noticeable signs can include changes in color of the face, fast-but-irregular heartbeat, numerous hive-like swellings on the skin, swelling of the eyelids and puffiness around the eyes. In the event of anaphylaxis occurring, emergency help should be sought at once. Because Techne should only be administered in a clinical setting, the qualified team of healthcare professionals overseeing its administration should be aware of the potential for this allergic reaction to occur, and should have a risk-assessed policy in place to deliver anti-anaphylaxis medication in the form of an instant-acting epi-pen or other similar drug.

Patients undergoing treatment with this medicine may be exposed to radiation. This can increase the risk of developing cancer, particularly in children. Patients, or guardians of patients, who have concerns about this should arrange to have a detailed discussion with their doctor regarding the pros and cons of undergoing treatment with a sulfur colloid solution like Techne.

In very rare cases, death has occurred in patients who have been intravenously administered gelatin stabilized Techne sulfur colloid injections. In a clinical setting, cardio-pulmonary life support systems should be available to attempt to prevent death should the need arise.

Radiopharmaceuticals should only be used by qualified physicians who have received extensive training on the safe handling and use of radionuclides. This training should be approved by an appropriate government agency authorized to license the use of such radionuclides in the jurisdiction of administration, regardless of whether treatment is taking place in the US or elsewhere in the world.

As with any radioactive material, excessive care should be taken to minimize any harmful exposure to the patient and/or clinical personnel overseeing the procedure. Proper patient management plans should be put in place prior to treatment.

Pregnant women, or women who intend on becoming pregnant within the next two weeks, should only undergo this clinical treatment if the benefits outweigh the risk. Because radiation has the propensity to cause fetal damage, use of Techne in pregnant women is strongly ill-advised.

Storage

The Techne kit should be stored as packaged at ambient temperature between 15C and 30C. It should be checked for evidence of tampering prior to use, and any remaining solution should be discarded six hours after reconstitution.

Because of the potential for radioactive contamination, excess Techne and the containers each solution is supplied in should be treated as hazardous waste. It is the responsibility of the healthcare provider to dispose of such waste legally and accordingly.

Summary

Techne is effective in helping healthcare professionals ascertain whether the patient has any problems in their internal organs. Although regular, prolonged use may increase the risk of cancer, it is arguable that this minor risk is outweighed by the opportunity Techne provides doctors with to diagnose internal problems which could otherwise go undetected.

Doctors should work together with a team of qualified radiologists when using Techne. It is a legal requirement for all healthcare professionals to possess the relevant qualifications prior to administering Techne, which means patients undergoing treatment can be rest assured that they are receiving the very best level of healthcare when undergoing speculative treatments with this medicine.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
December 23, 2017
Last Updated:
December 22, 2017
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