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Generic name: gadoterate meglumine (GAD oh TER ate MEG loo meen)
Brand name: Dotarem
Drug class: Magnetic resonance imaging contrast media

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 1, 2021.

What is Dotarem?

Dotarem (gadoterate meglumine) is a contrast agent that has magnetic properties. It is used in combination with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to allow blood vessels, organs, and other non-bony tissues to be seen more clearly on the MRI.

Dotarem is used to help diagnose certain disorders of the brain and spine (central nervous system).

Dotarem may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Dotarem can cause a life-threatening condition in people with advanced kidney disease. You should not receive this medication if you have kidney disease or if you are on dialysis.

Before taking this medicine

Dotarem can cause a life-threatening condition in people with advanced kidney disease. You should not receive this medicine if you have kidney disease or if you are on dialysis.

Gadoterate meglumine can stay in your body for months or years after you receive this medicine. It is not known whether this could cause any health problems in people whose kidneys work properly. Tell your doctor if you have had repeated scans with a contrast agent, and provide the date of your last scan.

You should not receive Dotarem if you are allergic to gadoterate meglumine.

To make sure you can safely use Dotarem, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether Dotarem will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed shortly after receiving this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is Dotarem given?

Dotarem is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.

Your doctor or other healthcare provider may want to watch you for a short time after your test is over. This is to make sure you do not have any unwanted side effects or delayed reactions.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Dotarem is used only during your MRI, you will not be on a dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving Dotarem?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Dotarem side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Dotarem: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some side effects of gadoterate meglumine may occur up to several days after injection.

Dotarem can cause a life-threatening condition in people with advanced kidney disease. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of this condition, such as:

  • burning, itching, swelling, scaling, and tightening or hardening of your skin;

  • muscle weakness;

  • joint stiffness in your arms, hands, legs, or feet;

  • deep bone pain in your ribs or your hips;

  • trouble moving; or

  • skin redness or discoloration.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • kidney problems - little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.

Common Dotarem side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • nausea;

  • rash; or

  • pain or cold feeling around the IV needle.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Dotarem?

Other drugs may interact with gadoterate meglumine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

  • Your doctor can provide more information about Dotarem.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Dotarem only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.