Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime (Injection)

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime is a radiopharmaceutical injection that is used to locate diseases in the body. This medicine is used to create images of the brain and also helps to locate stomach and bowel infections.

Overview

The technetium Tc 99m Exametazime injection is a radiopharmaceutical. This group of medicines are radioactive agents. They are used by doctors to locate particular diseases within the body, study the different organs and assess their functionality.

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime is used in cases of cerebral perfusion scintigraphy following a patient suffering a stroke. The injection of the radiopharmaceutical will enable the doctor to create an image of the brain and assess how much blood is being absorbed into the blood vessels in the brain. This can help to determine if parts of the brain have been affected by stroke and are working less efficiently than is normally expected.

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime can also be utilised for leukocyte labelled scintigraphy in order to determine the presence of stomach infections or inflammatory bowel disease. The injection of the radiopharmaceutical can enable the doctor to identify areas of sepsis within the stomach and the bowels. The infected area will absorb the radioactive substance differently to the healthy lining and the doctor can thus determine the infected area for further treatment.

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime can only be administered under the direct supervision of a doctor who has specialized training in the use of nuclear medication. The medication is injected intravenously in hospital conditions.

Conditions treated

  • Stroke
  • Stomach infections
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Type of medicine

  • Radiopharmaceutical

Side Effects

As a radioactive agent, this medicine can cause serious side effects in the body. Along with the desired effects of enabling radio imaging, the treatment may also cause some unwanted side effects. When side effects occur they may require medical attention.

Consult your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Feverishness
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Rash
  • Swelling of or around the face
  • Unusual heat dispelled from the skin.

Other side effects that are not listed here may occur. If you experience other side effects then you should inform your doctor right away.

Dosage

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime is administered by injection through a vein. This medicine should only be administered by a doctor or under the supervision of a doctor who is trained in the use of nuclear medicines.

The dosage received will be determined and administered by your doctor. The following is for guidance only:

Use in adults and adolescents

  • For cerebral perfusion scintigraphy - 10-20 millicuries given intravenously.
  • For leukocyte labelled scintigraphy - 7-25 millicuries given intravenously.

Use in pediatrics

  • For cerebral perfusion scintigraphy - 0.14-0.28 millicuries given intravenously.
  • For leukocyte labelled scintigraphy - Individual dose to be determined by the doctor.

After the treatment has been administered the patient will need to urinate as soon as possible and then do so as frequently as possible for a short period following the treatment. The patient should drink lots of fluid before and after treatment in order that they may urinate more frequently. The body will dispel radiation through the urine, so the bladder should be cleared as soon and as frequently as possible.

Interactions

Some medications should not be used at the same time as others. In some cases they will prevent the other from working effectively and in others they can increase side effects, putting you at risk. If you are taking any other form of medication then you should inform your doctor before taking this medicine. This includes the use of herbal remedies, vitamin supplements, over the counter medications and medications prescribed by your doctor.

Medications can also interact with food, drink, alcohol and tobacco. Before undergoing treatment you should discuss your use of these with your doctor to determine any changes that may need to be made in the lead up to the treatment.

Warnings

When you are receiving this medication your doctor will need to keep close watch on you. Your doctor will be able to determine if the medicine is working correctly and whether you should continue with the treatment. The treatment may be stopped if side effects are occurring.

Serious allergic reactions, which are also known as anaphylaxis, can be caused by treatment with this medication. Any signs of anaphylaxis should be reported to your doctor immediately. These signs can include but are not limited to:

  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Swelling of or around the face
  • Swollen tongue
  • Swollen throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain

During treatment with this medication you will be exposed to radiation. Your doctor will be able to explain the risks of this so you can weigh them against the positives of undergoing the treatment.

In making the decision to take this medication you should weigh the risks against the benefits of taking it. Discuss the following with your doctor so that you can both make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the treatment:

Allergies - You should inform your doctor if you have reacted in any way unusually to any medication that you may have received in the past. Allergies to foods, dyes, preservatives, animals and other substances may also be relevant for your doctor.

Pediatric - It has not been determined whether Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime can be used in a safe and efficient manner in children.

Geriatric - While it is not anticipated that age will cause any geriatric-specific problems relating to the use of Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime, appropriate studies have not been carried out. Geriatric patients are, however, more likely to have age-related kidney issues that can require a need for greater caution to be taken.

Pregnancy - This medication involves the injection of active radiation into the body. It is known that a radiation dose can be harmful to the development of a growing fetus. If you are pregnant it is important that you inform the doctor who will be administering this treatment. No studies have been carried out on the affects of this particular drug on a fetus.

Breastfeeding - Following this treatment small amounts of radiation may be released from the body through the milk. Mothers who are breastfeeding may need to make preparations in advance of this test and may need to stop breastfeeding for a short while after treatment. Close contact with small children should also be avoided for a short time after treatment as small amounts of radiation will also be leaving the body through the skin. For further information talk to your doctor.

Medical problems - other medical problems can affect the use of this treatment. If you have any medical conditions then you should inform your doctor. This is especially important in cases where you suffer from any of the following:

  • Kidney disease
    • Caution must be taken. The radiation will be removed from the body less quickly in patients with kidney disease. As such the side effects may be increased.
  • Stomach problems
  • Tumor
    • In patients with a tumor the results received may be affected.

Storage

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime should be stored between 20-25°C. Protect the medication from temperatures outside of this range.

Summary

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime is a radiopharmaceutical medicine. It is used for radiotherapy imaging to assess parts of the body.

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime is used for cerebral perfusion scintigraphy so that the brain function can be assessed. The radioactive agent allows the radiotherapist to assess the level of blood absorption by the blood vessels in the brain. This helps to determine the brain function following a stroke.

Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime is also used to determine the presence of stomach and bowel infections. Leukocyte labelled scintigraphy allows doctors to identify the location of infections so that they can be treated effectively.

Radiopharmaceuticals are active nuclear agents that are injected into the body intravenously. As such there are risks involved in the use of this treatment that should be discussed with your doctor.

Radioactive agents are known to be harmful to the development of a fetus, so pregnant women are advised not to undergo this treatment. Ensure that you inform your doctor before treatment if you are pregnant.

Breastfeeding mothers may also need to prepare before undergoing treatment. Breastfeeding should be avoided for a short time after treatment and close contact with an infant should also be avoided. The body will be expelling radiation for a short time after treatment and the radiation will also pass into the mother's milk.

https://www.insideradiology.com.au/cerebral-perfusion-study/

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Last Reviewed:
December 25, 2017
Last Updated:
April 05, 2018
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