Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Warning: Risks with Inadvertent Intrathecal AdministrationFor intravenous use only. Inadvertent intrathecal administration may cause death, convulsions/seizures, cerebral hemorrhage, coma, paralysis, arachnoiditis, acute renal failure, cardiac arrest, rhabdomyolysis, hyperthermia, and brain edema .
Uses For iohexol
Iohexol injection is used to help diagnose or find problems in the brain, back, heart, head, blood vessels, and other parts of the body. It is an iodinated contrast agent. Contrast agents are used to create a clear picture of the different parts of the body during certain medical procedures (eg, CT scans).
Iohexol is to be given only by or under the supervision of a doctor.
Before Using iohexol
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 iohexol, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to iohexol 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 iohexol in children. Some pediatric patients with certain medical conditions (eg, asthma, heart failure, kidney problems) may have more unwanted side effects which may require caution in patients receiving iohexol.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of iohexol in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted side effects which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving iohexol.
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during 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. When you are taking iohexol, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using iohexol with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
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 iohexol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol abuse or
- Heart or blood vessel disease—Iohexol injection should be used with caution in these patients.
- Asthma—Use with caution. May increase risk of having allergic reactions.
- Congestive heart failure or
- Dehydration or
- Diabetes or
- Kidney disease or
- Multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells) or
- Paraproteinemia (high amount of paraprotein in the blood)—May increase risk of having kidney failure.
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease or
- Pheochromocytoma (adrenal problem) or
- Sickle cell anemia (inherited blood disorder)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper Use of iohexol
A doctor or other trained health professional will give you iohexol in a hospital. It is given through a needle placed into a vein.
Your doctor may also give you medicines (eg, allergy medicine, steroids) to prevent allergic reactions.
Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are receiving iohexol. This may help prevent kidney problems.
Precautions While Using iohexol
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are receiving iohexol. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.
Iohexol may cause a heart attack. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing, nausea, unusual sweating, faintness, or coughing up blood.
Severe kidney problems may occur after receiving iohexol. Tell your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms after receiving the medicine: agitation, confusion, decreased urine output, dizziness, headache, muscle twitching, rapid weight gain, or swelling of the face, ankles, or hands.
Iohexol may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have a skin rash, itching, shortness of breath, sweating, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, or tightness in the chest after you receive iohexol.
Serious skin reactions can occur with iohexol. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or a skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills with iohexol.
Make sure your doctor knows if you have had an allergic reaction to any dye or medicine given during a test or procedure.
While using iohexol, you may be exposed to radiation. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using iohexol injection. Iohexol may affect the results of certain medical tests.
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. You should not receive iohexol injection together with a steroid medicine into your spinal cord.
Iohexol 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:
- Arm, back, or jaw pain
- chest pain, discomfort, tightness, or heaviness
- difficulty breathing
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- swelling in the throat
- Blurred vision
- dilated neck veins
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- extreme tiredness or weakness
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- feeling cold
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- irregular breathing
- pale skin
- sensation of spinning
- swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- troubled breathing with exertion
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight gain
Incidence not known
- black, tarry stools
- blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- bluish color of the fingernails, lips, skin, palms, or nail beds
- changes in skin color, pain, tenderness, or swelling of the foot or leg
- chest pain or discomfort
- darkened urine
- decreased urine output
- difficulty swallowing
- feeling sad or empty
- hives, itching, skin rash
- joint or muscle pain
- lack of appetite
- loss of consciousness
- loss of interest or pleasure
- lower back or side pain
- mood or mental changes
- muscle twitching
- pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- painful or difficult urination
- pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- rapid weight gain
- red, irritated eyes
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- sensitivity to heat
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
- stiff neck
- temporary vision loss
- throat irritation or tightness
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, or feeling of sluggishness
- weight loss
- yellow eyes or skin
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:
- Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- change in taste
- cold sweats
- dry mouth
- increased hunger
- redness of the skin
- runny nose
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- slurred speech
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- stuffy nose
- uncontrolled eye movements
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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More about iohexol
- Iohexol Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- 4 Reviews
- Drug class: non-ionic iodinated contrast media
Other brands: Oraltag