CT contrast dye side effects

January 31, 2008 at 1:36 am 148 comments

I spoke with a patient over the phone today.  I told him he had a CT appt in the near future.  He kind of groaned and asked, “That’s the thing where they stick that dye into you, right?”

“Yes, it is,” I told him.

He went on about how he didn’t really like the stuff and “how many times can you be injected with it until it really messes you up?  I’ve been injected with it four times now.  Have you ever been injected with it?”

“You know, I haven’t had that experience, yet.”

“Well, when you do-when they inject that stuff into you, your balls- your balls are glowing, man.  It goes in and your balls just start to burn.”

“That certainly sounds unpleasant.”

“You know, when some people get it, they uh- they start to- well, they get an orgasm.  Can you believe that?”

“That’s pretty hard to believe.”

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Brain Treatment? Where are my drugs made?

148 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dana  |  July 19, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Recently had a CT for Gall Bladder problem. Contrast barium and injectable dye were used. 2 days later I experienced Rhenal failure they tracked it to the dye. Apparently these dyes are undergoing another round of trials by the FDA.

    • 2. Mr. Radiographer  |  October 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      No reason to read any of these comments, almost all are uneducated responses. I have worked in radiology for the last 7 years. The radiologist in the middle is correct with everything he says. The only relevant comments are the ones about itching, hives (allergic reactions). Renal failure can occur. However, all CT depts check creatnine levels prior to injections to insure competent kidney function. These iodine based materials are not needed in every test, but some things such as cancer cannot be determined without.. To say that you would never have the contrast is stupid. When you’re faced with potential cancer and the only way to determine is a PET/CT, really….. Are you going to turn it down? Do some research before you make fools of yourself.. Most of you already have..

      • 3. Anonymous  |  December 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

        you kind of sound like an arrogant asshole.

      • 4. Anonymous  |  January 1, 2013 at 1:52 am

        I got the contrast dye about a day ago and my bowls are still burning what should i do .?

      • 5. lupus lady  |  August 1, 2013 at 1:45 am

        I don’t care how long you have been in radiology. I have lupus, the barium sulfate I’m allergIc to. I have hives, constant puking, headache. So knowing I’m allergic to it makes me not want to take it regardless. Lady time i puked for 5 Days steady. And calling people uneducated you don’t even know shows a petty side of you making you look uneducated.

      • 6. Anonymous  |  September 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

        wow i just had one early this morning all i had was the warm sensation as if you’re wetting your self. Then after ward i had a few tummy cramps all effects are not the same. but over all it was a cool experience.:-)

    • 7. me me  |  October 9, 2014 at 8:23 am

      How did you know it was renal failure? What symptoms did you have? I had a CT scan 2 days ago and have this metallic taste in my mouth and woke up with low back pain. Could this be a kidney problem?

  • 8. Judith  |  January 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    In October 2008 I had an abdominal CT scan. A few minutes after the dye I had a weird tingling sensation in the genital region which passed in just a few seconds. However, about 2 days later, my back bone, just a little below my neck ( I don’t know which vertebrae number) felt bruised. That bruised feeling lasted nearly a month. Now I’m having problems with my right shoulder, and it is difficult to be on the computer after just a few minutes and the muscle in my right arm is tender.

  • 9. Wes  |  March 9, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Just got a head C/T done about an hour ago, yes there was some mild warming of my testicles, then I tasted the metallic taste, then felt like I was gonna puke. Lasted about 5 minutes then I was good to go. Some people are going to react differently though. Dana, they probably shouldn’t have used the dye on you considering gall bladder problems can cause a whole host of other problems, but then again I’m really not an expert.

    • 10. Anonymous  |  December 18, 2012 at 11:41 am

      i was in bed for two days asleep. that shit literally put me on my ass. and im not allergic to anything. i had to fast but dont know if that had soemthing to do with it. i felt like i was in a daze for 48 hours. not cool.

      • 11. Anonymous  |  August 18, 2014 at 12:08 am

        so what kind of test are they doing when the warm dye is shoved in your veins i got sick ,and i never got sick before of course the didn’t shove the dye

  • 12. Susan  |  October 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Recently had CT Abdomen/Pelvis and noticed a soreness/heaviness in my right arm (IV/contrast site) and now with swollen lymph glands in right armpit. As of last night (48 hrs post CT)… now experiencing bloating, nausea, shortness of breath and midback pain…not to mention no bowel movement since the CT . Now I’ve learned that the FDA is looking at possible links to contrast/dye and Congestive Heart Failure and Renal Failure. I’m extremely alarmed and concerned that I may be having an adverse reaction!

    • 13. Shannon  |  January 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Did you ever find out if you had renal failure or any kindey problems? Because I had a ct of my abdominal/pelvic region 2 days ago and last night and today I have had a lot of pain in my mid back on both sides and fear renal failure as well, even though it is extremely rare.

    • 14. Anonymous  |  May 8, 2014 at 4:13 am

      Hello. I am 45 and I had a abdominal/pelvic CT scan yesterday afternoon. When I made the appt with the clinic intake, the person never mentioned having to take a contrast which usually is done the night before I would have to be at the hospital. I ended up waiting another hr there, as I drank 2 tall glasses of the clear not so tasty liquid. I admit this whole experience scared me and still does since we are trying to find the root of my illness, but it was not as bad as I thought. Yes, when the dye was injected I had a warm feeling rush through my body. It was weird but not painful. I was then told to drink lot’s of water in order to flush the contrast out. I am thinking peeing it out. Even though I have not been able to eat much anyway with out vomiting, I had some bland food. About 65% stayed down. Last evening besides my current pain I am feeling I had the urge to release a not so nice bowel movement. I am still having that issue this morning and my stomach is rumbling like a truck down a dirt road. It is not painful though. I am waiting til the office opens to ask about if that release is normal but saw this sight and thought I would share my story. Overall, the experience was not as scary as I imagined and myself and my family are praying it is not Cancer.
      Thanks for listening, but please do not argue with each other. Everyone has their own experience. We all need to support one another. You don’t require an expensive CT scan for nothing. I hope the best for you all.

      • 15. Rhys Berryman  |  May 8, 2014 at 7:28 am

        As mentioned before, different people have different reactions, but NONE should be dismissed as “paranoia” or imagination. I didn’t realize (until I read a new post) that oral contrast could cause a reaction, too.
        I was recently able to reduce my Prednisone dosage to 10mg daily, and it’s “only” been 8 months since my contrast injection! This is a dangerous procedure, apparently whether injected or swallowed. It needs to be banned.

      • 16. Anonymous  |  August 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm

        I got one this morning and I feel the same way you did with the rumbling. It is very uncomfortable did you find out what it was.

  • 17. Mary  |  November 3, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    had a CT scan today with contrast dye…the injection caused a metallic taste in my mouth momentarily and then this warm sensation that moved through my body giving me the feeling like i wet my pants! apparently a very common side effect. i think drinking the 4 cups of barium sulfate was the worse part of it though!

  • 18. Mark Yelton  |  December 21, 2009 at 7:21 am

    The contrast dye I had was in the soft drink form for a CT/MRI. All it did was put me on the toilet for about an hour straight with watery diarrhea. It sounded as if I was urinating but in fact, it was diarrhea.

  • 19. Betty Dunn  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I just had a CT scan Friday, January 8th. I had no issues what so ever so It’s hard for me to relate to all of you who have. I trust my doctor explicitly so maybe that’s why. I did feel the warmth/burn when the contrast went in but that’s it.

    • 20. carole  |  April 23, 2013 at 7:37 am

      After reading these comments you all scare me, like you I haven’t felt anything yet, was done at 2:30 yesterday.I didn’t even ask how high liver was or know what is normal, this is all scaring me. I would like to know how long the dye takes to leave your body.

      • 21. Anonymous  |  March 28, 2014 at 11:41 pm


      • 22. Rhys Berryman  |  March 29, 2014 at 8:44 am

        The question was asked about how long it takes the dye to leave our bodies. The answer depends on how much water you drink and how well your kidneys are functioning. It should be gone within a couple of days, but that isn’t the problem. The contrast is a toxin, which activates your immune system… in “overdrive”! When the toxin is gone, your immune system can look for something else to attack, and our muscles are an easy target. Prednisone helps, but it takes time. In my case, the doctor says I will be in Prednisone for at least a year (gradually tapering the dosage). When my wife had a contrast injection two weeks ago, they gave her a HEAVY dose of Prednisone BEFORE the injection, to knock down her immune system. This tells us they are aware of what’s happening.

  • 23. Nick  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I wouldnt recommend getting the contrast dyes. they make you sign a paper for their permission to use it because it can cause death! i took it once, for a cp shunt, they injected it into my left forearm and i nearly passed out, and my fingers got crippled in weird positions, which couldnt move for the entire time i was laying under that machine…thank God i’m normal again.

    • 24. Linda  |  June 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm


      I just had my first Cat Scan today and they used the contrast dye. I had the same thing happen to me. Both of my hands were clenched and my fingers were contorted and I couldn’t open them for probably 5 minutes afterwards. It was very scary! the doctor could not figure out what had caused that. Did you ever get any answers from your doctor as to why this happened? It also felt like my entire body was vibrating from the inside out.

      Thank you for any info or advice you can give me on this subject!

      Linda :-)

    • 25. Kevin  |  May 4, 2013 at 10:06 am

      I had a ct scan with contrast material one day ago and I experienced a similar sensation. I had pain, burning, muscle spasms in forearm and fingers were contorted on arm of injections site. One day after procedure, I am experiencing a strange sensation in forearm and hand similar to muscle fatigue. Hopefully this feeling is only temporary.

      • 26. Anonymous  |  September 1, 2013 at 5:48 am

        I am having exact same feelings as you. Have you got better since then? i had the injection on thursday and my left side on which i got the injection is tingling and feels heavy.

  • 27. Cherel Justice  |  April 21, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I was given contrast dye for an unneccessary CT scan and immediately put on antibiotics ‘in case’ I needed them. (The doctor put me through all that without having a clue what was wrong with me because he didn’t test me for bacterial or viral infection.) As a result, I suffered kidney failure and nearly died. From healthy kidneys, my kidney function dropped to 11% and the doctors wanted me to go on dialysis. I put my trust in God and refused. God delivered me. Please don’t assume your doctors always know what they are doing. They are often too busy to make quality decisions. You must think for yourself and ask lots of questions and make your own health decisions.

    • 28. me me  |  October 9, 2014 at 8:29 am

      How did you know it was kidney failure? What symptoms? I had a ct scan 2 days ago and am concerned about my kidneys.

  • 29. Cherel Justice  |  April 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I’m interested in hearing about the contrast dye experiences of others.

    • 30. Lee  |  May 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      I had a contrast CT scan about 2 years ago. I had to drink several glasses of the dye. I don’t remember signing anything other than standard treatment forms upon admission to ER. The dye did not agree with my digestive tract, which has never really been the same. The dye turned to a sticky glue like substance, gross as it may sound, it was awful. I would never have one again. The information yielded did not outweigh the damage to my body.

      • 31. Anonymous  |  June 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        You don’t drink the dye………it’s an I.V. The drink is so the dye will show up.

      • 32. Anonymous  |  August 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm

        No, not all tests require IV s as well as the oral barium. The barium shows up on its own.

      • 33. Mr. Radiographer  |  October 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm

        Barium is inert. There are no side effects beside potential constipation or diarrhea.. Anonymous that commented is an idiot. Barium highlights your digestive track and allows for a “Contrast” between different tissues.. It is not called “DYE” it does not “DYE” you. It is a CONTRAST, as in a CONTRASTING AGENT.. The IV CONTRAST is for visualizing anything that is fed by blood in your body.. For instance, a malignant tumor has a blood supply, whereas a cyst does not.. On a ct without iv contrast they look the same.. The only way to differentiate between the 2 is with IV contrast.. Hence one is fed by blood.. This is only ONE example.

      • 34. Anonymous  |  December 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        Can you tell me about your digestive system. I had a ct scan and bone scan and afterwards I had severe diarrhea and have been unable to eat foofs other than soft foods and soup. My digestive system is a mess.

  • 35. Kathy Hink  |  April 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    How safe is EOVIST for a liver MRI? Also I previously had an enchanced CT two months ago and since that time I am having hip and lumbar pain. Is that a normal reaction?

  • 36. A.Wilmers  |  June 30, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Following contrast dye/CT scan in July2009, I developed a vibration completely down my spine and between my shoulder blades, whenever I bent my neck. It was overwhelmingly strong enough to throw me off balance when walking. It continued down the spine with the blade section moving down and is now (Jun2010) between the kidney area. It still exists, but not as strong.

    The second CT scan in Oct 2009 left me with a knifelike pain in my arm, and swollen, raised, bright blue veins which continued for several months. I also had a rash (pinhead sized red dots and severe itching) across the scanned area.

    My complaints to doctors regarding these symtoms are pretty much ignored.

    Additionally, I am not allergic to shrimp & my brother also had difficulties with contrast dye.

    Have my kidneys been damaged? Is there a test to see if the dye and/or CT scan hurt me in any way?

    • 37. Cherel Justice  |  June 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm

      Ask for a blood test to check your kidney function. The GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is your kidney function level. A year after CT scan with dye my function is back up to 50%. That doesn’t sound good but it’s better than 11% and dialysis. Praise God!

      They told me a test would have to have been done within 48 hrs of my CT scan to make a link between the dye and the damage. My doctors said the dye might have been the problem but there’s no way to prove it. The Nephrologist said many people have damage but don’t realize it because your function has to drop below 50% to start feeling the effects.

      Hope this helps.

  • 38. Trudi  |  October 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I lost one Kidney to cancer a few years ago, andI am very concerned about the IV-Dye for another CT-Scan. Dies anyone know how damaging it is to ONE Kidney ?? I am 67 years and very worried! ?????

  • 39. Cherel Justice  |  October 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Not sure why they want the scan on you but I would ask for a less invasive test. Some scans can be done without dye. Ultrasound, MRI or anything other than dye may be acceptable. You have a right to refuse testing that may hurt you. Don’t let them rush you into anything. Be your own advocate. It could save your life. You know what’s best for your body.

    • 40. Unique B  |  November 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      Just had ct yesterday. I never got one before. I had to drink a bunch of grape horridness then had iv put in. Once they injected CT Contrast, your body gets hot from the top to bottom. You feel like you peed your pants seriously. The feeling goes away as soon as they stop the contrast and removve the iv. BUT at 3am this morning i woke with horrible swollen sore throat and could not swallow at all!!!!!!!!!!!! I did some research and seems that there are side effects of this crap!!! NO ONE EXPLAINED ANY TO ME! Overnight i have aquired SORE THROAT, RUNNING NOSE, SCRATCH THROAT/CHEST, AND SORE EARS!!!!!!!!!!!! I am NOT happy!

      • 41. Unique B  |  November 19, 2010 at 4:40 pm

        by the way, the crap you have to drink that “coats your stomach” gives you horrible diarrhea and bubbly stomach! I had it done yesterday @ 9am and im still on the toilet!

  • 42. Mr Radiologist  |  January 18, 2011 at 11:36 am

    After reading most of your posts I feel compelled to explain that most every “side effect” described above has nothing to do with your CT scan or the IV contrast and more to do with your paranoia. IV contrast has been tested and tested by the FDA(and no it is not currently under scrutiny as described above in one of the least informed posts I have read in a long time) and the side effect have been well documented. Very rarely a late-term(6 hours or so) side effect of a rash may appear. I have been practicing medicine for 15 years and never had the pleasure of coming across one of these cases so they are indeed very rare. The warm sensation is the feeling you get when you inject and large quantity of fluid into your blood stream at a high rate of speed. It is your blood vessels dilating and your heart rate slowing temporarily. None of this is news. Yes, contrast dye is sticky. It does absolutely no damage to your digestive tract however(as described above once again) The problem that appears to be consistent with the above posts is the lack of any need for a CT scan followed by the uneducated pt’s decision to allow their physician to perform a CT scan along with whiny patients that are unwilling to perform the tests necessary to diagnose an illness. IV dye does not make your back hurt. it does not make your shoulder hurt. It does not make your bowels disagreable and it most certainly does not necesitate a round of pre emtive antibiotics. Knowledge has been dropped. Learn something.

    • 43. Anonymous  |  January 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      I would like to ask your honest professional opinion on an issue I had 2 months ago. I contacted the ER at Buffalo general where I was treated, and the hospital’s radiogy dept several times, and the only response I received was that the ER doc who treated me “will not be returning.” The ER tells me to call radiology, and radiology does not return my calls. I don’t want to go to this hospital like an angered customer to demand answers Bc I realize these people are busy and I’m not a top priority Bc currently, I’m feeling fine.
      What happened was, I went in for bad chest pain that ended up being diagnosed as pleuritis (it felt like a terrible charlie horse under my left breast that started out accompanied by same pain in left armpit and shoulderblade, so my opinion is it was possibly chest wall muscle spasm.) They injected me with ibuprofen for the pain, did a chest xray and CT and ruled out pulmonary embolism or a heart issue. I was waiting to be unhooked from monitors and discharged, when I had a recurrence of that warm feeling of the CT injection, followed immidiately by tachycardia that went up to 150bpm during the more than a minute it took for any person to even walk over to me while my machine alarm was so loud and getting louder, and I was yelling for help. Now i wish i had looked at the monitor and noted what the bpm was before i started to really panic from being alone… But anyway. Could the dye have not been cleared by my kidneys, and passed through my heart and groin area again? Why would that warm feeling recur? Can it cause tachycardia? 
      I found out subsequently that it is recommended to drink water to flush out the dye properly, and I was not given water or fluids at all in over 12 hours in this hospital. They sent me to the cardiac wing after the tachycardia and did a stress test and monitored me and did more blood tests all of which show me to be healthy and strong. They called it a regular sinus tachycardia. 
      The week following all this I had strange intermittent headaches relieved by holding down my temples, and intermittent pressure in my nose and face, and stomach pains every so often with a strange strong uncomfortable pulse feeling in my abdomen especially when laying on my side or stomach. This all subsided in a week to week and a half and is nothing I normally experience in any capacity, before or since. Dilation of blood vessels causing these issues makes sense to me, so does any of this make sense to you in conjunction with the dye injection? 
      I did return to this hospital’s clinic for a follow up as instructed and i expressed my concerns to the clinician who saw me. My blood pressure was higher than normal although I don’t remember what it was (I’m usually 110/70). The clinician dismissed the Bp, said she thought the chest pain was due to Acid reflux, which I’ve had in the past, and unrelated tachycardia… although she was not even aware I was in the cardiac wing nor did she have any of my test results. Needless to say I am pretty unimpressed w this hospital. But all I want is to know that this crap was just side effects and I can’t stop thinking about it!

    • 44. Amanda  |  October 22, 2011 at 9:37 am

      Sorry, Mr. Radiologist- I’ve had one twice now and the watery diarrhea and “bubbly stomach” are FACT. LEARN SOMETHING.

      • 45. Christine  |  December 25, 2011 at 3:49 am

        Amen Sister.

      • 46. Kim  |  January 30, 2012 at 5:48 am

        Amanda .. I had exactly the same problem within in minutes of returning to the ward after a CT scan with contrast dink plus contrast dye, I was a fire hose from both ends. 2 weeks since the CT scan & my stomach still has not settled down properly.

      • 47. Kim  |  January 30, 2012 at 5:50 am

        That should have read * drink *

    • 48. Leslie Laforest  |  October 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Mr. Radiologist…while it appears you are certainly trained and knowledgeable about the field of radiology, you have developed, alas, like so many other people in the medical field, an irritating attitude toward the general patient population. A couple of things to remember:

      a) if it weren’t for sick people, you and the multitude of other medical professionals from physicians to nurses, technicians to all medical staff would NOT have a job, would NEVER have been trained for, nor would they be in any position to be administering physically impactful tests, scans or procedures if there weren’t patients to practice on. In other words, patients come first. Regardless of how feeble you believe many of these correspondents to be, kindly remember that most of them are frightened individuals, many of whom may be suffering from very serious disease. The last thing they need is the arrogant manner in which you choose to educate them. Patients are NOT trained as you are, therefore they do not have all the information you have gathered during your training. But what they DO have is the actual physical experience, and by their accounts, reactions from and to many, many procedures they have physically endures, which you have not – you’ve only administered the tests, not undergone them yourself!!! That many of these tests have data indicating they are absolutely safe, and more important, very necessary as investigation tools, do not forget that their are growing data to suggest some of the side-effects described herein are being added to the growing list of side-effects to be aware of, particularly where it comes to renal impact and systemic inflammation. So until you have endured (as I have through the years) a multitude of injectable contrasts for a multitude of different types of scans, able to draw direct correlation to “some” of the experiences that have been described in this forum…shut-or… at least temper your condescenion. Remember the cardinal rule of medicine: “the best doctors are those who choose to learn from their patients”…

      b) there is no human body that can take in pharmaceuticals, whether orally or intravenously, endure contrast infusions, chemotherapies, radiation, transfusions, surgeries, or any other limitless number of medical interventions without having some form of individual reaction. Many reactions are unnoticeable. Some are minor and of no consequence. But to unilaterally dismiss the fact that injecting, for one example, contrast (or to the layperson “dyes”) into a body, arrogantly denying that there’ll be absolutely no reaction from and to it, is wrong headed and worse, dangerous. The medical field openly acknowledges that every human being reacts differently from disease to procedures. While having a general overview of what happens to people riddled with certain types of diseases and how they’ll react to certain types of treatments or investigations, no doctor worth their salt would ever say with 100% certainty how any one person is ultimately going to fare.

      With all due respect (which means not much), you have either been in the medical field too long, burnt out, ready for a change, or perhaps you need to reacquaint yourself why you entered into the medical field in the first instance. One would hope it was to help people, and not just for the money. However, your attitude leaves many questions about your conduct and motives.

      • 49. sydneetaylor  |  February 22, 2015 at 11:09 pm

        I want to copy this response and give it to every arrogant medical personnel I have ever come in contact with. I applaud your knowledge, verbiage, compassion, and defense of chronic illness patients like myself and all the others who are unwell (& as you stated, just scared). I’m 35, Dx with chronic illness at age 25. Been treated in over four states, a number of practices, multiple hospitals, renowned researchers, and There is nothing worse than the superior, know-it-all attitude of many who forget that pain is subjective, and only we ourselves know our own bodies intimately. Will there be hypochondriacs? Yes. Will there be addicts/drug abusers? Yes. Will there be over-paranoid, anxiety-ridden individuals? Of course. But I speak for many who have sought exhaustively at times to receive a cause to intolerable/scary symptoms. Who asks to lose their health or spend precious time in hospitals having scans, only to be belittled or made to be feel stupid because the vitals don’t match the symptoms being described? No one.

        For all those in medicine who actually care, for those nurses who listened-treated me like an actual human being, and genuinely comforted me, I applaud you. Your care and methods made all the difference.

        And for the self-righteous, unempathetic, pride-filled individual in medicine…..it could be you or even worse your father, sister, or child in that scan room having those frightening feelings or signs…would you want someone treating them like you have? Have a heart or get out of medicine. Period.

    • 50. Anonymous  |  November 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      That’s pretty harsh. Having been through a host of medical issues until he died, my dad had many docs saying the same things. I also have been the the same boat where the docs see the problems and cannot explain them. To say that you know all the limits if particular drugs or procedures is arrogant. As our culture changes from environment, frequency of testing, food supply, there will be changes to our bodies. I respect the knowledge of my doctors but I also respect their humility. Medicine is both a science and an art.

    • 51. Anonymous  |  March 28, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      well you certainly cant have had a ct scan with dye ,i just had one thursday to see if cancer has spread elseware and a bone scan right after ,i was itchy when i got home so i took some benadryl but had a sore stomach all night and the next day got up at 3am in morning and couldnt stop throwing up and had a sore right should also had a warm feeling like peed self when done ,sooooo before you tell someone what they dont feel you should have the experience yourself mr knowlegeable

      • 52. Rhys Berryman  |  March 29, 2014 at 8:46 am

        The person who posted the comment saying we are paranoid and that we are all lying either works for the FDA or believes they NEVER make a mistake.

    • 53. Anonymous  |  March 29, 2014 at 12:01 am

      well you certainly cant have had a ct scan with dye ,i just had one thursday to see if cancer has spread elseware and a bone scan right after ,i was itchy when i got home so i took some benadryl but had a sore stomach all night and the next day got up at 3am in morning and couldnt stop throwing up and had a sore right shoulder should also had a warm feeling like peed self when done ,sooooo before you tell someone what they dont feel you should have the experience yourself mr knowlegeable

      • 54. Rhys Berryman  |  March 29, 2014 at 8:30 am

        Those who doubt the danger of the contrast injection have not been through what some of us have. I suppose you doubters think it was “just a coincidence” or “paranoia” that I developed polymyalgia rheumatica the NEXT DAY after a contrast injection, and that after seven months, I am still on 13mg daily of Prednisone to control the pain. it started with the same symptoms described by other folks on this site. It’s also interesting that this week’s episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” dealt with this same issue. It is NOT fake, believe me!

    • 55. Dr. Goforth  |  May 1, 2014 at 7:56 am

      Mr. Radiologist, I am a doctor of Chiropractic. We get a lot of training and statistics on doctor caused (iatrogenic) deaths. In the United States The Medical Health Care System (doctors) are the 3rd leading cause of death. The study by Barbara Starfield, MD is published in your own Medical Journal JAMA. Here is an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola that shows some of the details.

      And folks when a doctor uses that word “paranoia” run for the hills. That has always been their favorite way to dismiss your real and valid concerns. It is used by weak doctors who don’t have the courage to go against the tide of the other lemmings. If they do they will be kicked out. For instance, you have to accept the “standard of care” when you have cancer (chemo and radiation) or they won’t keep you as a patient, even if they know that it will kill you. There are targeted treatments for many cancers now. If your cancer is lymphoma, or a couple of others and you have insurance you can possibly do very well on those. They only target cancer cells. But, for others you will not be offered the targeted therapy because it is for the kings and queens of the world not for us pedestrian types.

      Mr. Radiologist probably thinks the corrupt FDA who is controlled totally by lobbyists and money is an upstanding organization. The same people who force the citizens of the United States to consume foods grown with genetically modified seeds which have been banned by most countries, except here in the US and where they are being forced onto the poorer countries.. They have been proven harmful in many animal studies, deadly, in fact. The FDA decided it is illegal to label whether a food is grown with GMO’s you are not allowed what you are eating. After all Monsanto (Monsatan) is their best buddy, can’t upset them. They make the most deadly chemicals of all, GMO’s, and Round Up Ready.

      Cancer is cureable, watch this movie about Dr. Burzynski:

      If the link doesn’t work go to youtube and type “Burzynski, the Movie”

      By, the way, a CT scan with contrast caused me to be essentially blind for 3 days. They wanted to do a biopsy on my arteries in my temple saying it could be temporal arteritis–if you knew what that was you’d realize what a joke that was with the symptoms I had. And if I were incorrectly diagnosed with that, the treatment is extensive, long and dangerous. So, you that have had symptoms and told the doctors what you thought they were from and been dismissed, believe me, I feel your pain. By the way, you know how they said they always check creatinine levels before they use contrast? They actually told me mine were high and did it then anyway.

      • 56. Rhys Berryman  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        Those who describe the bad side-effects of CT or MRI contrast serum as “paranoia” are mistaken. It’s like when I was told that when polymyalgia rheumatica hit me (hard) the day after my CT scan, it was “just coincidence”. It has been 8 months, and I still need 10mg of Prednisone daily so I can use my arms.

    • 57. darby  |  May 16, 2014 at 9:30 am

      then why is there so many of the same complaints? I will pray for wisdom and discernment for you Mr. radiologist

      • 58. Rhys Berryman  |  May 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

        For the radiologist (if that’s what he is), I wish I could transfer my polymyalgia rheumatica to him, and see what he thinks of my “paranoia”, which has now lasted for 9 months, and is keeping me on Prednisone (10mg daily). What an elohssa this man is.

    • 59. Jackie-anne  |  March 7, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      I had a ct with iv contrast today,the only odd effect I had was a warm feeling at the top of my legs and bottom. I had to drink 1litre of water before, the actual scan they did one before the contrast and one after, can anyone tell next why they did this? I have to admit I was very nervous, I hate hospitals, and didn’t think to ask why they did this, it was my urinary tract they were imaging. Any info would be great, I know I should have asked but nerves take over me!

      • 60. Rhys Berryman  |  March 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm

        After a year and a half, I am down to 1mg of Prednisone per day. My polymyalgia rheumatica (triggered by the contrast) is apparently over. I would not want my worst enemy to go thru what I had for the first six months or more. I will NEVER allow an injection of “contrast” serum into my body again!

  • 61. Cherel Justice  |  January 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Mr. Radiologist,

    While I understand that every problem listed in these blogs is probably not related to the IV contrast, some of them, no doubt, are and I find your response indicates you may be the one who needs to learn something.

    You stated that you have gone 15 years without encountering these problems. That is probably because most people who suffer consequences do not link them to the IV contrast and do not contact you. It doesn’t prove there’s no problem.

    I am not a whiner. In my case, following my kidney failure, I went through all kinds of tests including a kidney biopsy and no cause was ever determined for my kidney failure. As I stated, my Nephrologist said it could have been the IV contrast but that has to be determined shortly after receiving it. If IV contrast never causes a problem, why would he say that?

    My reference to antibiotics had nothing to do with the scan. It was another unnecessary intervention the eye doctor put me through because he failed to test and determine what caused my eye problem. After my kidneys began to fail two more doctors prescribed antibiotics for me which I refused to take.
    My nephrologist told me I did the right thing as antibiotics are hard are the kidneys and mine dropped to 11% function even though I didn’t take them.

    Until you have suffered kidney failure due to poor medical treatment I suggest you refrain from calling people paranoid and ill-informed. You may need to learn something, starting with compassion.

  • 62. Mr. Itchy  |  February 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I had both oral and IV contrast 3 days ago and The next day I developed a full body rash that itches?
    Will this go away?
    If so when???

    Itchy in NJ

  • 63. trcpanne87  |  February 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    These are all natural reactions to unnatural substances! Many of the drugs and dyes are made from GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS! These GMO’s produce toxic proteins not tolerated by human systems! These Franken substances should be banned from the earth! I know because even GMO food will cause anaphylactic shock in me and pain in neck lymph glands within 15 min which only Benedryl will reverse. Do you think these substances are good for anyone’s system?

    • 64. Mr. Radiographer  |  October 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      trcpanne87, you are a complete idiot.. Where do you get your information from? CT contrast agents are ionic or non-ionic radiopaque. They are made from organic iodine molecules which are water soluble and are harmless to the body, under normal circumstances. Unless you are allergic, or have compromised renal activity.

      • 65. Anonymous  |  November 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

        Mr. Radiographer- calling people an idiot is absolutely uncalled for. I hope you have not or will not be reading my tests. I am praying for patients that have to interact with you. Perhaps you took up radiology so that you didn’t have to interact? When you have a serious disease, small children at home to raise, death potentially on the line, it is my prayer that you will find other docs with a heart of compassion, skills to look outside of the box and off the charts to keep you alive for your sake and the sake if your family.

  • 66. Betsey  |  June 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Had a cat scan with contrast. the next day my vision became blurred. also every muscle in my body hurt and i had a very sore throat. that was 5 days ago and my vision is getting worse. I went to my doctor and he said it is stress. he even prescribed xanax. i have no history of a stress condition. i had none of these problems until the cat scan.Anyone else experienced this?

  • 67. Betsey  |  June 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Had cat scan with contrast 4 days ago. the day after i developed a very sore throat and blurred vision.also painful muscle aches. went to the doctor and he said my throolat was very red but my symptoms are from stress. he even prescribed xanax. i have no history of a stress condition. my vision is getting worse. anyone else been through this?

  • 68. nick  |  June 27, 2011 at 11:50 am

    i am 16, and so far, i have had to have contrast injections 5 times. i did not notice many reactions in the first four, but in the last one, i got a rash on my back, arm, and stomach; i got severe nausea for weeks; stomach problems that still exist(i have to take regular proton pump inhibitors to keep the slightest acidic food from giving me ulcers); and i had lower back pain for a few weeks. I was not aware of any of the side affects, nor was i told anything by my doctor, until i researched it and found this site.

    • 69. nick  |  June 27, 2011 at 11:51 am

      not to mention extreme fatigue.

  • 70. Cherel  |  June 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm


    It sounds like you may be having kidney problems (nausea, back pains, extreme fatigue). Have you been checked for that?

    I hope you get some answers and make a good recovery.

    Concern and prayers,


  • 71. Anonymous  |  July 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Deb July 20, 2011. I had a CT scan completed (2) days ago. The day after, I was completely dehydrated and almost passed out while dispelling of the contrast in my BM. I’ve since been told barium will do that. I drank water as told to do, in fact even more than they said. I also realized I had a severe headache. I began drinking Gatorade and more water. I became even dizzier as the night approached. Upon waking this morning, I awoke again with dizziness and a headache. Has anyone ever experienced these symptoms? I was curious as to how long they may last? Does anyone have an answer?

    • 72. Anonymous  |  December 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      I had my ct with iodine contrast done two days ago. When I went to get off of the table when the ct was done I felt very dizzy. Within half an hour I had the excruciating headache pain with the dizziness. Within another hour I got the stomach pains with it. I still have this tonight and it’s been two days. I too have drank tons of water and Gatorade. I’m not getting better at all. My dizziness has almost made me faint many times today. I don’t know what to do. Felt fine before the test.

      • 73. Rhys Berryman  |  December 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

        If you’re having pain (like you described) after two days, you’re already one day overdue to see your doctor!
        The contrast injection causes serious reactions in 7% of patients, and is fatal to 1%. Don’t wait! You are having a reaction that MUST be dealt with, probably with Prednisone. After a year and a half (since m y injection), I am down to 4mg/daily of Prednisone, which was as high as 40mg a year ago.

  • 74. B.  |  August 16, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I had a CT scan with contrast 3 days ago after going to the ER for an ovarian cyst. After I drank the contrast, the nurse said “by the way, this has Miralax in it so it may produce a bowel movement”. if they had told me that before I probably would not have done it because I have a sensitive stomach. They also did the IV contrast. During the scan the IV contrast gave me tachichardia. Afterwards, I got diarrhea so bad I went to the bathroom every 30 minutes for 6 hours, so I went to the pharmacy at 1 AM to get imodium. This stopped the diarrhea, but at 5 AM I woke up with severe chills, dizziness, dryness of mouth and feeling like I would pass out. Now on day 3, I still have nausea, and my neck lymph nodes are super swollen. The stuff in CT contrast is absolutely TOXIC to your body, absolute poison. Mr. Radiologist up there is a neophyte, because everyone this happens to does not call their radiologist it does not mean it isn’t happening. The fact that he’s been inflicting pain on people for 15 yrs. and is unaware of this is shocking but a perfect example of how screwed up our medical system is. Look out for yourselves, don’t let doctors perform unnecessary tests, always research side effects and make informed choices.

  • 75. sickandtired  |  September 24, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Had CT scan with IV dye, severe diarrhea that afternoon and stomach cramps. Still having problems a week later….. how long will this go on for? Any ideas on how to help

  • 76. Tracy  |  October 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Hi interesting reading these posts. I had a CT Scan with IV dye on Monday at 3pm felt fine, had the usual metal taste and feeling that I had wet myself, other then that OK. At approx 12 midnight my neck started to itch, then my chest and by 2am I was smothered in red welts and hives all other the top part of my body. Took antihistames and hoped it would pass. By 7am that morning my face had swelled so bad that I could not even open my eyes properly. 2 days on and I still look like the elephant women!!!! hideous. hives still all over body and face very contorted and severly swollen. GP has put me on steroids to reduce swelling. I have been told to never have contrast dye again as next time could be even worse.

    • 77. Amanda  |  October 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

      Tracy- do you have a shellfish allergy? My MIL had the same allergic reaction.

  • 78. Anonymous  |  November 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I had a ct abdomen and pelvis today and have not been far from the bathroom since. I had a previous CT with no side effects but this diarrhea is very real.Barb

    • 79. Anonymous  |  May 11, 2012 at 4:36 am

      I had the same ct scan yesterday for ab and pelvis area and it was fine for me. A little metal taste and the sensation of wetting myself but that was so minor. I will say the only negative reaction so far is the diarrhea. I am glad I went straight home after the scan! I can’t go to work today because I am affraid I wont even make the drive to work without needing a restroom. Other than that is was not a bad experience. The guy that was doing my iv told me everything of what to expect which helped when it was happening.

  • 80. Anonymous  |  December 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    To Mr. Radiologist
    Unless you’ve had the dye used on your I think you should keep your so called educated FDA comments to yourself. I have not had this dye injected in my body, however my partner has and she was and is very uncomfortable. She too had the diarrhea and since the dye has this burning like sensation running from the injection site to her wrist. So Mr. Radiologist, maybe you should or have secured a job with the ever so right FDA. If you have not had or have someone in your life suffering from a possible side effect of this procedure. SHUT THE HELL UP!

    J.C. from Phoenix. Don’t like the comment come find me. :)

  • 81. State of pain.  |  December 21, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Had a ct scan with dye injected today due to headaches. They first injected a small amount, then about 15 minutes later injected a greater amount. The second dose burnt the hell out of my whole body, my heart raced, and my body shook uncontrollably, my hands cramped up, and broke out into a full body sweat. This is the second time I have had a ct scan in the last 5 years, but I have never had a second dose. When I was finished my daughter told me I looked as though I was going to pass out. I was extremely pale. My stomach has hurt ever since with nausau and cramping, muscle aches, and severe diarrhea. I realize that people that are going in for scan have physical symptoms…this is why we are having the scan in the first place…but I was only having headaches before the scan, now I am physically worse off. I don’t need a phd to know that I am having a reaction. The only thing the hospital told me was, “this should take about 20 minutes”, I was put through hell for more than an hour. I agree with other posters…unless you have been put on the bed, injected, and put in the dome of hell, then keep your very “un” educated mouth shut. Also, calling patients “whiners” is extremely unprofessional. IF your post is anything like your bedside manners then your in the wrong line of work (Mr. Radiologist). What ever happened to: “DO NO HARM”! I believe this is meant as physical and verbal. > : ?

  • 82. Karen  |  January 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I had a CT Scan of the Abd/Pelvic area and it was one of the worst things ever. I totally agree the Liquid form of the “contrast” or the “berry smoothie” as the bottle implies is complete FALSE, I had to drink 2 large bottles of it, and it had me gagging the entire time. They injected dye into my arm as well, and I thought my whole body was on fire all the way to my toes, it was the craziest feeling ever, I totally though I pee’d on myself. Overall, I pray I NEVER have to go through that again, Im NOT looking forward to the next few days, reading these storeis, Im completely horrified.

  • 83. Anonymous  |  February 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I had a CT scan scheduled today (after spending hours vomiting, shortness of breath, pain in neck etc.). After 5.5 hours in emerg. I was told I would be called the next morning to schedule an ultrasound. Instead I was scheduled for a catscan. I’ve never had one before. I was told they were looking for gall stones.

    I had the warmness, and the feeling like I urinated, but I was warned about those symptoms (after already injected…I also had the drink first an hour earlier).

    I was then told to go back to the emerg. dept. and the Dr.would give me the results. A few hours later, no results yet, and I was feelinga bad, cramping etc. I had huge diarreah, and I had to leave before getting my results (one lady in the chair near me had already been there 6 hours for her results). I lost bowel control a few more times before getting home (embarrassing in my son’t car). Now I can’t stay too far from the toilet. I feel very light headed.

    I’m surprised to hear a radiologist claim these symptoms do not happen. I did not expect this, so when I got home I googled and found this site, and see that I am not alone. I just hope I don’t get the sore throat and welts.

    The hospital won’t send the results to my Dr. so I have to invest another LONG period of time in emerg. to get my results (when I can stay away from a toilet).

    This is awful. Had I been forewarned I could have put on an adult diaper, had a change of clothes, and/or made the decision to come back another day for results. As it was I was taken by surprise.

  • 84. Anonymous  |  June 6, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Just to add to those with symptoms from the contrast, I had a CT scan 2 days ago upon a trip to the emergency room for severe abdominal pain and I’m still running to the toilet and experiencing substantial dizziness and headaches since the CT scan. I’m highly educated and try to research things before I dive into them, but didn’t have the chance before the CT scan. My symptoms are fairly mild compared to some that I’m reading about, but they are certainly real and I’m hoping they are gone soon–it’s difficult to concentrate on work.

    Mr. Radiologist, if you are truly a radiologist, your a clear example of why the public mistrust of the medical community has grown by leaps and bounds and feels that finding a quality caring doctor is almost impossible these days.

  • 85. Roger  |  June 9, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I had a contrast injection Tuesday and I am still having side effects. Red face and reddening chest and back. Chest tightness. I’m on prednisone and that helped reduce the redness, but the chest tightness bothers me. The Mr Radiologist person is dangerous, IMO. We don’t need closed minded people like that in the medical profession. We need open minded and rational people.

  • 86. Smartypants  |  June 25, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I had a CT scan on Friday at 2pm. Drank the contrast as instructed and had the dye injected. The scan itself was as you have all reported – feeling of heat and as if you are urinating – it did not last long thankfully. Today is Monday and I have been having bouts of diarrhea since 5 am and feel wrung out. Mr Radiologist, I feel you may not be cut out for one of the caring professions.

  • 87. Anonymous  |  July 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Some of you may have misread the radiologist’s comment.

    He meant that the IV contrast – NOT THE ORAL – does not cause any stomach/GI issues.

    The barium that you swallowed to coat the lining of your digestive tract to enhance the imaging? THAT DEFINITELY, definitely does. (Mine sounds like a thunderstorm erupting about every 30 minutes right now…lol)

    The renal/kidney involvement that has been posted about is shown in studies to have a correlation to patients that had underlying kidney disease prior to the contrast administration – which makes me question which tests were performed prior to the CT.

    As for the strange spine/nerve/neck/etc complaints posted here – I can find no scientific study to support this side effect, despite having found several studies regarding IV contrast/dye administration.

    I can, however, find several studies that support that after having a diagnostic test that has the potential to find a serious condition – even completely calm and sane people have a tendency to develop anxiety-related disorders, which can definitely be attributed to the symptoms posted. (Supported by MDs prescribing some of you anti-anxiety meds).

    I agree with the Radiologist and I’m not paid by the FDA, pharmaceutical or any such thing that will certainly be suggested – as I am posting a response that will likely displease and open me to similar fodder as the MD above.

    -Molecular Biologist and Nurse

  • 88. Kim  |  July 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I had it done today with the IV. The technician warned me about what I would experience and I did.She said”You may feel heat throughout your body,have an awful taste in your mouth and feel like you are urinating.”The worst part was the IV site I have a big bruise.I hope I don’t have any other problems like mentioned above. So far so good, had it done 4 hours ago.

  • 89. Mary  |  August 3, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Last month, my mother had the CT scan with contrast and has now been complaining of Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and profuse night sweats – has anyone else experienced these side effects???

    P.S. Mr. “Radiologist”…your manner is coarse, uncaring and overwhelmingly biased…my guess is you are here to promote the unethical activities of the FDA by minimizing the suffering that people here on this site have experienced…your ruse is obvious and your actions are shameful!!!

    • 90. Anonymous  |  August 15, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Had a ct with iv contrast yesterday and woke up today feeling dizzy and like my ears are full of fliud.

  • 91. beeka  |  August 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Had CT w contrast today. Had a vaso reaction and something called hypovolemia the actual radiologist was tremendously supportive. The tech called the Rad doctor immediately at the end of my test.because of my facial skin color being bright red. Future tests w contrast are to be avoided or done as an inpatient w a host of preventive meds. I was monitored, drank water and when my blood pressure got back up to 100 I was able to go home w a list of things to monitor. What was odd was that it was their reaction to me not my complaining. Anyway..very professional and caring. They are reporting back to my MD so this test will not be run again without precautions.

  • 92. Mariam  |  August 8, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I had mine yesterday morning.Ct scan for brain.the injection was like a knife stabbing my hand and the sensation of being so hot …and burning ..until I thot I pee… was something …After its done till now…I just keep on peeing but I think its natural, flushing out.I hope not to get anything unpleasant after this…Please God..So,I Will keep you all posted what will happen tommorow….
    So Have a Beautiful Day Everyone.(I do need to positive about my tomorrow ..:-)

    Mariam K.Lumpur

    • 93. beeka  |  August 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

      My tomorrow was better….even with some difficulties…I had the vascular reaction…my blood pressure is coming back up slowly with rehydration. TOMORROW is better

  • 94. zak  |  August 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I’m 27 testicles warmed a bit. I thought it felt nice. Hope they don’t find any problems with me but was a fun experience

  • 95. Anonymous  |  August 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I had a ct of the abdomen and pelvis with IV contrast and the clear drink prior to the scan two days ago. Still have stomach rumblings and diarrhea…I have had ct scans before but never had the drink .

    I had no ill effects from the IV contrast except for the normal warm feeling kfrom injection…but do not think I want to do the drink again.

  • 96. Sarah  |  September 4, 2012 at 2:02 am

    My Ct scan was today & the pain I felt in my arm after the blue dye was being injected was so painful that my body went into shock.

    In previous comments above by Cherel Justice | April 21, 2010 at 9:13 am & Linda | June 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm the experience was very similar.

    My arm was injected & the blue dye was suppost to be a warm feeling except it got to my shoulder & decided to reverse down my arm which left my arm feeling like it twisted right then left & then as my hand got hotter & hotter I could only yell my arm my arm, they stoppped the dye & were very concerned as I could only cry from the pain & shock of the whole ordeal.

    No reason was given & they couldn’t find any damaged veins.I now have a very sore arm & feel a little out of it …. I would love to hear from anyone with any experiences like this one as I am a bit worried of any side affects to look for.

  • 97. Jh  |  September 9, 2012 at 8:37 am


  • 98. sharon  |  September 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    5 days ago I had the iv dye and immediately felt my throat tightening after the injection and “warm” (more like burning) sensation. have been feeling like a tight/swollen throat since then. They claim it can’t be from that but I have never felt this prior to that scan.. anybody know if this is a side effect? I can breathe fine but it feels tight/swollen in my throat.

    • 99. Mr. Radiographer  |  October 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      You are having anaphylaxis.. This is an allergic reaction. You are allergic to CT IV Contrast… Not to be confused with MRI gado…

      • 100. anonymous  |  May 9, 2014 at 12:52 am

        I am confused, we have this person, Mr. Radiorapher, and we have a Mr. Radiologist. Are you 2 different people? A Radiologist is a doctor and a radiographer is a technician, trained only to take images, not interpret them, or to speculate on medical problems.

        Actually Mr. Radiologist is the arrogant, doctor (allegedly, a doctor anyway) that is the one that seems to have all of the personality traits nobody wants their doctor to have. A radiologist has little to no contact with patients, so their lack of skills in that area, and a dislike for people often ls the motivation for choosing that specialty..

  • 101. Anonymous  |  September 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Had a cat scan with iv dye several years ago to check for a brain tumor. Since that scan the skin on my neck has turned darker almost like a severe sunburn. Has anyone had simular reactions?

    • 102. Dewiilliams  |  October 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      4hrs ago I completed the CT, the physician asst questioned why my doctor ordered CT for gallbladder issues? So did I…I am no experiencing bad pains in my neck, shoulders, extreme nausea & heartburn to the point where I can barely breathe, stand or walk.

  • 103. Dodger  |  November 8, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I stumbled upon this discussion because I am wondering if I had a reaction to the pelvic CT scan done on Oct. 31. I had to drink the “kool-aid” and they also did the IV contrast. Everything seemed ok until 5 days later. My chest, stomach and abdomen kept itching constantly. The next morning I noticed a rash covering the entire area. The rash looks like hives. Now, 3 days later the rash has spread to cover arms, back, groin and thighs. I have never had hives before. My throat also feels like their is a cotton ball in it. I can breathe fine though. Is it possible to have a delayed raction to the IV contrast that was injected? Wondering if it is time to go back to the Dr. or keep waiting to see if this goes away. But, the itching is extreme!

    • 104. Anonymous  |  November 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Great posts but sadly I found them a little too late. Had abdominal CT 3 weeks ago and have flank / lower back pain, eye sight has degraded and have proteinuria with 1g/L loss. Know I know this was The dye because I was checked for a UTI just a few weeks before with urine and blood test and everything was normal. Feel angry and seriously depressed with this – spoke to a few people who said the had foamy urine for a few days – it’s now 3 weeks!

    • 105. Paz  |  November 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Great posts but sadly I found them a little too late. Had abdominal CT 3 weeks ago and have flank / lower back pain, eye sight has degraded and have proteinuria with 1g/L loss. Know I know this was The dye because I was checked for a UTI just a few weeks before with urine and blood test and everything was normal. Feel angry and seriously depressed with this – spoke to a few people who said the had foamy urine for a few days – it’s now 3 weeks!

  • 106. Mal  |  December 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I had 2 MRI’s & a MRV done today on my head. I was injected with contrast dye intravenously (IV). I am now experiencing some nausea and slight bowel problems. My nurse didn’t explain to me how long the nausea would last. She only stated that the dye would stay in my system for 24-48 hours. Any suggestions/help would be appreciated!

  • 107. Rene  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    My hands and feet are blue. I had a MRI done today of my brain and they injected contrast or dye into the vein in my arm. I cannot find any info on the web of this happening to anyone.

  • 108. Rachel  |  April 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I have a question. In 2007 I went to the ER for appendicitis. In the ER they did a CT with IV contrast. After they injected me with the contrast my heart had a sudden cardiac reaction. The had to grab a crash cart and give me medicine into my IV to counteract the reaction. I was told in the ER that I was highly allergic to the contrast and should never have it. My doctors would now like to do an abdominal CT scan and I will be drinking Gastrografin (not barium) and avoiding the IV contrast due to my reaction. I’m scared because it’s a horrible feeling to have your heart stop and not be able to breath. I read an article on the Duke University website that given my reaction to IV that I should not drink Gastrografin. My Doctor seems to think this is okay.

    What do you think? If my heart stopped with IV contrast will I be safe drinking Gastrografin?

  • 109. christina  |  April 21, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I had a CT scan of the heart a week ago. after the scan I lost taste in my mouth and throat is like swollen and difficult to sallow and ther is some phlegm at the back of my nose. Its already a week till now. Please help.

  • 110. nicholas siravo  |  April 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    that radiographor is a complete asshole what a stupid person to be doing test unbeleable to make a stipid remark like that thats the kind of assholes we have in the medical field today do they check them out to see if they are drug attics ectr ectr i almost lost my life having contrst and doctors and hospital said dont ever have it agin cause you will certainly lose your life its unbelevable whe have an idieot like him workin in the medical practice what a creep

  • 111. nicholas siravo  |  April 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    i also undestand that it is really the machine that gives a chemical in the contrast that we are allergic to and i have to have a pet scam and i heard that pet scam can give an allergic reaction same way as the conrast from having a cat scan with contrast does so i got to ask some one who knows all about this before i have a pet scam what a joke that they dont explain it all to us why its the proper thing to do ive askt on here but but no doctor in the field has answerd why? unbeleable

  • 112. nicholas siravo  |  April 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    i wonder does any one know what the proper name is that would be able to answer my qeshtion about the allergic reaction from contrast and same as pet scam from the machinethat despenses contrast i understand its a chemical the mchine gives off that where allergic to what machine ectr ectr is it the one that makes it or what ?

  • 113. kendall  |  April 24, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I woke up yesterday morning feeling perfectly normal.I had a ct scan to check for calcium on my Kidneys(possible sponge kidney)My Kidneys have been functioning normally ,however I thought it would be wise to find out if I have calcium on my kidneys and if this is something that could cause me future problems. I am 39 eat very healthy ,work out regularly and consider myself a healthy person.I had a ct scan yesterday and as I was driving home I developed a dull ache in my lower back.I called the imaging center to ask if this could have come from the ct scan.They told me no that my back pain was not from the ct scan.With in three to four hours, after the scan, I felt completely exhausted.I wanted to go to sleep.That was around around 4:00 pm(this is not like me).I had to force myself to stay awake,because my husband was still at work and we have small children.I noticed at dinner that mentally I was feeling foggy.Usually at night time I put my children to bed and I am asleep by 10-10:30 and I sleep very well.The only reason I wake up is because the kids wake me up or to use the restroom.Last night however was scary.I feel asleep around ten and I woke up shortly after with my body switching between shaking, the chills, tingling running through my legs, and mental confusion.I was afraid I was not going to survive what was happening.I would get really hot then cold.I called my local er and spoke with a nurse who told me what I was experiencing could not have come from the ct scan and it did not sound life threatening. What I experienced and am still experiencing most assuredly came from the ct scan!!!It is 10:20 a.m. and I still have tingling in my right leg.I also have sore calves and the dull lower back ache.I hope this post helps some one from going through such a frightening experience.

    • 114. Lisa  |  June 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      I’m not glad that you experienced these symptoms, but I AM glad someone had some similar symptoms to what I had with the “tingling in the legs.” During a doctor’s appointment for some abdomen concerns, I had an immediate order for a CT scan. The doctor also ordered some blood work. I was given some drink but really had no details about what I was drinking other than it was necessary for the scan. I did have to sign the scary paper about what could happen if you have an allergic reaction to the contrast IV fluid, which it said was rare.

      During the scan, I had the each of the symptoms the radiologist said people commonly report experiencing: very hot flushed face, feeling of urination, strong metal taste in the mouth. Then, I went on my merry way and felt just fine. I wish, however, someone told me about what to expect afterward as far as needing to be near a bathroom, as I went on a long ride to pick my son up from college and went to dinner afterward. On the very long ride back, there was an urgent need to use a restroom for a purpose that one would not want to use a public restroom on the NYS Thruway for. I never had any tests like that before or even an IV before that day. I just thought it was some routine thing people do all the time, and it wasn’t any big deal.

      The next day, I fell asleep for hours during various parts of the day, slept all night, and slept again like that the next day. I am not a big sleeper. A few days later, the oddest thing was the feeling of (and I can only describe it as…) “bubbling” in my the bottom of my feet and in the veins in my legs. About a week later, I began getting sore around my blood work arm, which was the opposite of my IV arm. This progressed over the next three days from a welted sore area near the blood work area inside my arm…to a welted sore area near my underarm…to a thin, faint red line from an area near the blood work area to the underarm…to a welted, 1-inch wide, purple line. I called to see if I should be concerned, as I couldn’t bend nor straighten my arm without pain and was told to go to Urgent Care. The doctor said I had “phlebitis from infusion” from the contrast fluid and prescribed a NSAID (weird, because that wasn’t the arm, but whatever…the doctor must know). After taking the medication, I felt nonstop “bubbling” in the veins of my feet and legs and fell asleep for hours twice that day. I stopped taking that medication just because I have never felt worse on any prescription ever. I wonder if your “tingling” is like my “bubbling.”

      It’s now been about three weeks. I still cannot fully bend nor straighten that blood arm. There is still a 3-inch red area and what feels like a hard, firm, tight vein from the underarm all the way to the forearm. Now, I feel lumps in the vein. Is this kind of stuff really normal after getting the contrast fluid? Patients should be given a little more information. I only searched for information on the Internet regarding exactly what I was given after having weird symptoms to see if they could be caused by the fluids from the CT scan. Thanks to everyone who wrote in. It was informative. :)

  • 115. Cindi  |  May 8, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Had abdominal/pelivc CT scan 4 hours ago, had the metallic taste in my mouth during it, felt the warm genitalia, all expected sensations.
    Once I was done, I was done. I am 100% fine now. Don’t feel anything different than before I went in, except I am no longer hungry since I got to eat after the scan. This was the simple test I’ve been through so far. Was really nervous going into this, because of all the horror stories I read here……wish someone would have told me, it can be a breeze!! It was for me!

  • 116. Anonymous  |  May 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Yup, it seems like different people have different reactions to the contrast. Personally, I Just felt the “warm” sensation all over my body, actually I’d call it more a burning sensation. It was somewhat uncomfortable but since the nurse warned me that the most common side effects were a warm sensation, metallic taste, and feeling like you just urinated I stayed calm (even though the burning alarmed me because it similar to what I’d imagine some sort of heart trouble to be like as it was most intense in the chest area, and later groin [urination feeling], you can compare it to the burn you get from IV morphine if you’ve ever had that and felt the burn from it.. it’s just your veins and arteries having to expand rapidly which also causes a temporary drop in blood pressure (veins contract blood pressure raises, veins expand blood pressure drops)). I didn’t get the metallic taste however and the burning feeling went away in about 30 seconds to a minute.

    As soon as the test was done, I was up and about and felt completely normal since. It’s only been about 29 hours since my CT so something could still happen but I think I’m 100% in the clear. I’d assume that my case matches the majority of cases and that’s why most of these professionals are chiming in saying how safe it is. What brought me to this site was just the fact that I always look up information about my treatments.

    I don’t doubt other people have issues though, the radiologist that said it doesn’t cause problems blows my mind. I’m an engineer by trade so I’m science oriented and I can’t believe somebody that closed minded is in the medical field, and apparently thriving in it at that. I figured somebody who doesn’t understand that different people have different allergies and body states would’ve been weeded out by his peers, or hell, even his patients, long ago. Quite frankly he comes across as a huge douchebag and I would never put my insurance money in his hands.

    So my final thoughts here are the majority of people probably have no issues, the reason it may seem like there’s tons of issues is just because the majority of people won’t come and post something like this if they encountered a completely smooth CT. So, if you’re reading this site in preparation for a CT w/ contrast don’t freak yourself out, it’ll be a breeze more than likely.

  • 117. Save Mungo  |  June 13, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Strange. I just got back from my first ever CT an hour ago and had no issues other than the nurse couldn’t stick my first vein. He told me it would burn going in (didn’t), I would feel like I was having a hot flash (didn’t), the metallic taste (didn’t) and that I would feel like I wet myself (that did happen, and it was really weird.) But other than that, this was an extremely pleasant visit that I was worked up over nothing about. Aside from drinking the nasty Sprite Milkshake. :)
    Feel great now! For those of you who don’t… why are you here! Go to a dang doctor!

  • 118. ada hayes  |  August 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Had a CT scan last week – had a VERY odd experience. I am looking for the physiology of it. I am a get- er- done person so I drank the first bottle of liquid in thirds. I immediately went so “drunk” I could not hold on to the other bottle, could not hold my mouth shut or my head up – the nurse came in and asked “what had happened” I said I am “drunk” then I started shaking very hard. She thought my bloos sugar was dropping and quickly got a test strip – no it was 83. I got stiff then started uncontrollable crying. hard loud crying (I don’t cry!)No I wasn’t hurting no – I wasn’t in pain I was just crying for about 10 min. I kept stretching my neck when I finally got pressure relived by a burp everything was fine. I did drink the last bottle slower. Please explain this for me it could answer a couple other things I have going on. Thank you

  • 119. Rhys Berryman  |  October 31, 2013 at 10:59 am

    August 22nd, 2013… I had an abdominal CT scan with contrast to look for cancer. They found no cancer, but two days later, the pain in my abdomen, thighs, and hips made walking VERY painful, and it also moved into my upper arms and shoulders. After more than two months, the pain and lack of strength is making almost anything I do painful. I am on Prednisone, and while it was 20mg per day, the pains almost all went away. But after a week, my doctor reduced the dosage of Pred to 10mg per day, and within two days, the pains were back, and have now spread down my arms to my hands. He prescribed Tramadol (100mg daily), which does NOTHING! The only pain reliever which seems to affect the pain is ibuprofen, but the doctor told me to not exceed 600mg daily.. Acetaminophen does nothing, and aspirin does very little. The doctor told me last week that the pain “should go away in three or four more months”. I was in reasonably good health for my age (75) until the CT scan; now it is constant pain and two to three hours sleep at night. Will this EVER stop? Or do I need to stop it permanently?

  • 120. Shannon  |  November 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I had scan with IV contrast on 10-30 to look for cause of blood in urine. Thankfully nothing was found but the following day I started with back and leg pain and by evening I could not sit or lay down. It was like the worst restless leg syndrome. I walked the floors all night and was brought to tears many times. Test was on Wednesday and Sat I went to my Dr crying. He had never heard of such a reaction but did not make me out to be crazy. He put me on prednisone, lortab and Benadryl. Today is Monday and I am finally feeling better.

  • 121. Tim Irvin Sr  |  January 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Had two different types of the dye it was horrible the pain was like sticking a hot poker in my hand and pouring acid in my veins it burned from top of my head to the souls of my feet the second time was a thicker dye even worse now I’ve had diarrhea for two days and I wake up my eyes are like red coals,

  • 122. letalis  |  February 18, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    So i had a ct scan with the contrast dye. Felt the warming sensation in my head and groin. About an hour later had a migrane that lasted about 8 hours and testicular pain that lasted about 4. Was not fun to say the least.

    • 123. Anonymous  |  August 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      I am 42 and had one this morning for my lungs, they of course found nothing, but that overall warmth did occur and while I was holding my breath, my balls were on fire. It went away before I was off the table, but but I swear I was looking for the bastard that was holding a match to them.

      • 124. Rhys Berryman  |  August 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

        Today (the 22nd) marks exactly one year since my contrast injection, and I am down to 7mg of Prednisone today, which is ALMOST controlling the pain of Polymyalgia Rheumatica, which was triggered by the contrast serum (24 hours after the injection).

      • 125. Rhys Berryman  |  August 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

        I meant to say 7mg of Prednisone per day.

  • 126. Hope this goes away soon!  |  April 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Had CT scan with contrast and Barium. I drank mega glasses of water afterward to help flush the contrast from my system. Six hours later I looked like I had a sunburn all over my body and was extremely itchy. I had to purchase some Benadryl as I don’t have a history of allergies and didn’t have it readily on hand.The next day I felt like a truck had run me over, I felt very tired and had a sore throat with a hoarse voice to boot. I was not feeling this way prior to the scan. Not a great experience in my book. I hope that these side effects will subside soon. I will, however, be contacting my physician for consultation.

    • 127. Rhys Berryman  |  April 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Different people have different reactions (and different severity) to this toxic serum. I am in my 8th month of treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica, which began the day after my injection with this stuff. I cannot understand why the FDA hasn’t banned this terrible substance. I was on 40mg daily of Prednisone, and am now down to 12mg daily, which is controlling the nearly constant pain, keeping it at a tolerable level. It will be at least another year before I can taper off the Pred completely, if ever.

  • 128. Kacey Dunbar  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I had a CT scam done Tuesday with the contrast dye and the next day I started having blurry vision in my left eye. It’s Friday and it still won’t go away. Has anyone else had this problem? If so did it go away? I’m worried because I already have to use glasses and I don’t know if I should be concerned about the severity of it. Someone PLEASE ANSWER!

    • 129. Rhys Berryman  |  May 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Eye problems ARE a possible side effect of contrast toxin. If it doesn’t get better within a week, I’d advise you to visit an ophthalmologist. And watch for other side effects, such as sore muscles! Your body apparently doesn’t like that stuff.

    • 130. anonymous  |  May 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      I had terrible vision problems from the contrast,and I already wear glasses too. I had to take a taxi to the hospital. I went home after the test and it developed over a period of hours.
      I was almost blind. If I tried to look at my face it was an orb no hair features on anything, could not see anything on the tv or trees in the distance were just a blur. After about three days were over it started to improve and fairly soon I could tell there was improvement definitely. Then eventually it seemed almost normal. I am going to see if my vision is worse. It seems worse in some ways. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Scary!

  • 131. darby  |  May 16, 2014 at 9:37 am

    To reply to the top comment of the guy who was dreading the ct scan because of testicals burning and the oragasm , well i am a female while i couldnt have the testical thing i did experience an orgasm the next morning , i woke up and felt this sensation it wasnt even sexually induced it just happend all of a sudden! and for the rest of the day my arms and hands have had a tingling burning sensation? Has anyone else exp. anything like this please reply in detail

    • 132. Anonymous  |  May 16, 2014 at 9:53 am

      During the procedure I had the hot sensation and after I had some numbness in my arms and fingers but no orgasm

  • 133. trish  |  May 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    The oral barium contast can cause reactions. I had a very red rash on my face and felt hot. I have to be careful and be premedicated. Also, an asthmatic. Ask questions its your body!

    • 134. Rhys Berryman  |  May 27, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Regardless of the method (oral or injection), medical personnel need to be MUCH more informative to patients about the possible side effects and long-term consequences.

  • 135. Cameo C Massey  |  August 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I had a pelvic CT last night with contrast, after it was done I had to wait 90 minutes in the ER for the results to find where the bowel blockage was. Next thing I knew all my fingers and both thumbs were numb like pins and needles kicked in. I asked if this was a side effect of the contrast but everyone kept saying No….It lasted for 4 hours!?!?

  • 136. Cameo C Massey  |  August 17, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Also I didn’t achieve orgasm, but I did wind up having a very sexual dream that almost resulted in one.

  • 137. vince baker  |  August 22, 2014 at 10:13 am

    had a ct scan with the dye Aug 20 took a shower this morning notice my scrotum was looking brused and back of penis could this be a reaction from dye.

  • 138. Jim Ridgway  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Had CT scan w/contrast yesterday at 2:30. This was my 7th CT but first with contrast. I had the typical hot flushing, metallic taste, etc. when it went in. Then started uncontrollable shaking for about 10 minutes. I was OK by the time I left the imaging center. Have been drinking more than usual to help flush it out. But now the morning after I have aggravating back ache on left side in kidney area. This has me worrying about renal issues. They did not check creatinine or eGFR prior but it had been in mid 70’s a couple of months ago.

    • 139. Rhys Berryman  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:53 am

      One year and three months after my “contrast” injection, I am ALMOST over it. I am down to 5mg of Prednisone per day, and the muscle pains are 90% gone. I will NEVER allow this poison to be injected into me again, and I wouldn’t wish polymyalgia rheumatica on my worst enemy. The injection triggered it the next day. They didn’t tell me ahead of time that 7% of patients have a bad reaction to this stuff. Oh… one more thing: the high doses of Prednisone during the first 8 months after the injection gave me osteoporosis… a little “bonus”.

  • 140. Ana  |  November 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I too have had a bad reaction to contrast and dye or just the iodine when getting a ct. When the contrast went into my right arm. I felt a burn in my throat. The next day I had a horrible sore throat then was given z pack antibiotic a few days later. A week later my throat became mostly better but I still have a swollen throat. Three weeks later my throat still feels dry and it’s hard to swallow and having acid reflux. It’s iritated, I didn’t have the usual symptoms of a cold but more like an allergy reaction similar to inhaling paint or some other irritant from day 1. Im definitely getting my liver function tested thanks to you! And i also vow to be more careful to take good care of my liver in the future and not let a dr decide for me as I only have one and I’m only 43 and want a good quality of life. I simpathyze with all you here, who have very possibly suffered side effects of having a ct with contrast – this many people can’t be wrong. I believe almost all docs are good people but the practice has flaws that need to be corrected. God bless you and I pray that natural nutrients and time will heal you or make you better!

  • 141. Rhys Berryman  |  November 20, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Ana… don’t mess around with acid reflux. If it has lasted three weeks, get medication to stop it NOW. Letting it continue can cause esophageal cancer. If maximum-strength Pepcid or Prilosec won’t control it, you will need a prescription med.

  • 142. jenny42012Jenny  |  December 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Hi, I have had two CT Scans with Contrast Dye. With the first one I had a rash, hives and my heart palpated for a short time, (I am astmatic) they gave me antihistamines and kept me in for an hour. For the second CT Scan I had pre medication and still had the rash but none of the other symptoms. I thought the premedication might stop all of the above symptoms – is this correct?

    • 143. Rhys Berryman  |  December 26, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      My wife had a dye injection a few months ago, and they gave her a hefty dose of Prednisone BEFORE the injection, to shut down her immune system, and it apparently worked. She was only on Pred for three days, unlike my year-and-a-half.

  • 144. Xay  |  February 19, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I just had a CT scan yesterday for abdominal pain. I received an IV Contrast dye and I actually enjoyed the feeling. I am 18, so this was a first for me. The warmth actually felt quite therapeutic in the lower regions.

    • 145. Rhys Berryman  |  February 19, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      I have read in more than one source that the contrast dye injection causes a reaction in 7% of patients and 1% is fatal. Mine was not fatal, but I was certainly one of the 7%, and I wouldn’t wish a year and a half of polymyalgia rheumatica on ANYONE. I am down to 2mg of Prednisone per day, and indications are that I am almost cured. I would not have another dye injection unless I am held at gunpoint, and even then I might refuse, rather than risk 12 or more months of pain.

  • 146. lisa  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Rhys 2 months ago had abdominal ct scan with contrast- within 2 days had bad collar bone pain that never had before- plus vision is now “off” in left eye- my collar bones hurt!! I know from the test- Dr said can’t be! I hope it will go away! I will never have another ct scan ever!

    • 147. Rhys Berryman  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      Lisa… Please ask your doctor to prescribe Prednisone for you. I started out at 40mg per day for a week, then 30mg per day, then 20mg. It must be tapered off slowly after that; I am now down to 1mg daily, and will quit next month if the pains don’t recur. So far, so good; but the heavy dosage of Pred gave me osteoporosis, which is now being treated with alendronate. Yes, it’s possible the pain(s) may go away on their own, but it could take years. Even WITH Pred, it took me a year to stop the pain. The toxin(s) in the contrast serum cause our immune systems to overreact, triggering an autoimmune disease. You have to fight it, and Prednisone seems to be the medication of choice. You might be able to start with a lower dose than I did; it’s trial-and-error for awhile, until the correct dosage is found to quell the pain. Good luck!

  • 148. lisa  |  March 14, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks so much for your reply- I appreciate your advice- I wish I never had that scan!! I had no pain before that scan!!! Never ever again!!! Lisa


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