Generic Name: inulin (IN-ue-lin)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on April 9, 2020.
Uses for inulin
Inulin is used as a test to help diagnose problems or disease of the kidneys. This test determines how well your kidneys are working.
Inulin passes out of the body entirely in the urine. Measuring the amount of inulin in the blood after it has been given can help the doctor determine if the kidneys are working properly.
How test is done:
Inulin is given through an intravenous infusion (run into a vein). The dose of inulin will be different for different patients. The doctor will determine your dose according to your weight and size. Several times during the test, blood and sometimes urine samples are taken. A tube called a catheter may be placed in your bladder to help take the urine samples. The amount of inulin in your blood or urine is measured. Then the results of the test are studied.
Inulin is to be used only under the supervision of a doctor.
Before using inulin
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 inulin 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.
Inulin has been used in children. In effective doses, inulin has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.
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. Although there is no specific information comparing the use of inulin in the elderly with use in other age groups, inulin is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
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
- Liver disease or
- Underactive adrenal gland or
- Underactive thyroid—These conditions may affect the inulin test results by reducing the amount of inulin that is cleared from the blood
Proper use of inulin
The dose of inulin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of inulin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
Inulin 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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.