Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) increase the risk for nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) in patients with impaired elimination of the drugs. Patients with chronic, severe renal insufficiency (GFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m(2)) or acute kidney injury are at greatest risk. NSF may lead to fatal or debilitating systemic fibrosis affecting the skin, muscle, and internal organs. Avoid use of GBCAs in patients with impaired elimination unless use is essential and other modalities (eg, non-contrast enhanced MRI) are not available. Screen for acute kidney injury and other conditions that may reduce renal function. For patients at risk for chronically reduced renal function (eg, age greater than 60 years, hypertension, or diabetes), perform lab testing to estimate the GFR. For patients with the highest NSF risk, do not exceed the recommended dose and allow enough time for drug elimination prior to any readministration .
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Diagnostic Agent
Uses For This Medicine
Gadoxetate is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent. Contrast agents are used to help create a clear picture of the body during MRI scans. MRI scans are a special kind of diagnostic procedure. They use magnets and computers to create images or “pictures” of certain areas inside the body. Unlike x-rays, they do not involve ionizing radiation. Gadoxetate is a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA).
Gadoxetate is given by injection before MRI to help diagnose problems in the liver.
Gadoxetate is to be used only by or under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For gadoxetate, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to gadoxetate or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of gadoxetate in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established in premature infants.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of gadoxetate in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart disease which may require caution in patients receiving gadoxetate.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of gadoxetate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Asthma, history of or
- Kidney problems, severe (recent or long-term) or
- Liver disease, severe—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Diabetes or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
Proper Use of This Medicine
A doctor or other trained health professional will give you gadoxetate. Gadoxetate is given through a needle placed in one of your veins just before you have an MRI scan.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Check with your doctor right away if you have burning or itching of the skin, red or dark patches on the skin, skin swelling, hardening, or tightening, joint stiffness, limited range of motion in the arms and legs, pain that is deep in the hip bone or ribs, or muscle weakness. These may be symptoms of a very serious disease called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF).
Gadoxetate may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have cold, clammy skin, confusion, dizziness, lightheadedness, a skin rash, itching, sweating, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, trouble breathing, or chest pain after you receive the medicine.
Tell your doctor right away if you have mild, burning pain, feeling of warmth or coldness, or redness at the injection site.
Make sure your doctor knows that you have used gadoxetate. Gadoxetate may affect the results of certain medical tests (eg, serum iron).
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
This Medicine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain
- difficult or labored breathing
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- feeling hot
- inability to sit still
- need to keep moving
- pounding in the ears
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- tightness in the chest
- trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
- troubled breathing
Incidence not known
- Cold, clammy skin
- fast, weak pulse
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Back pain
- bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
- change in sense of smell
- change in taste
- dry mouth
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- feeling of warmth
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- increased sweating
- increased watering of the mouth
- loss of taste
- rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- sensation of spinning
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Drug class: magnetic resonance imaging contrast media
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