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
Histamine is used to help diagnose problems or disease of the stomach. This test determines how much acid your stomach produces.
How the stomach test is done: Before histamine is given, the stomach contents are emptied through a tube. Then the dose of histamine, which is based on body weight, is injected under the skin. Five minutes later, the stomach contents are emptied and tested for acidity. This procedure may be repeated several times. An antihistamine medicine may be given before the histamine is injected to prevent a possible unwanted effect.
Histamine is to be used only under the supervision of a doctor.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a diagnostic test, any risks of the test must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. Also, other things may affect test results. For this test, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to histamine 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.
There is no specific information comparing the use of histamine in children with use in other age groups.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of histamine in the elderly with use in other age groups.
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 this diagnostic test. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Heart disease or
- High blood pressure (severe) or
- Low blood pressure or
- Lung disease (especially asthma)—May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease (severe)—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
- Pheochromocytoma—Histamine may cause serious damage to the brain and blood vessels.
Proper Use of This Medicine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you histamine in a hospital. Histamine is given through a needle placed under the skin.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Do not swallow saliva during the test. The saliva may affect the results of the test.
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:
- fast or pounding heartbeat
- headache (continuing or severe)
Less common or rare
- Bluish coloration of face
- blurred vision
- chest discomfort or pain
- convulsions (seizures)
- decrease in blood pressure (sudden)
- diarrhea (severe)
- difficulty with breathing
- flushing or redness of the face
- nausea and vomiting (severe)
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:
- Abdominal spasms or cramps
- metallic taste
- nausea or vomiting
- stomach pain
- swelling or redness at the place of injection
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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