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Optison

Generic Name: perflutren (per FLOO tren)
Brand Name: Definity, Optison

Medically reviewed on Sep 6, 2017

What is Optison?

Optison is an ultrasound contrast agent that is used to improve the quality of an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart). This medicine works by changing the way ultrasound waves travel within your heart. This helps the ultrasound portray a sharper image of your heart.

Optison is used to allow certain segments of the heart to be seen more clearly on an echocardiogram.

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

Important Information

You should not be treated with Optison if you have a genetic heart condition called "cardiac shunt."

In rare cases, serious or fatal reactions may occur during the injection or shortly afterward. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed or short of breath, or if you have a severe headache, pounding in your ears, chest pain, fast or slow heartbeats, wheezing, or shallow breathing.

You may be more likely to have a serious reaction if you have severe or uncontrolled heart problems (congestive heart failure, a recent heart attack, serious heart rhythm disorder).

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Optison if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • a genetic heart condition called "cardiac shunt"; or

  • if you are allergic to blood products or to a medicine that contains albumin.

To make sure Optison is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a congenital heart defect;

  • a lung condition that has recently become worse; or

  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction during a blood transfusion.

It is not known whether Optison will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether perflutren passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. However, if you are breast-feeding a baby, use a breast pump to empty your milk supply one time after you are treated with perflutren. Throw out the milk you collect during this time and do not feed it to your baby.

Optison is made from human plasma (part of the blood) which may contain viruses and other infectious agents. Donated plasma is tested and treated to reduce the risk of it containing infectious agents, but there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

How is Optison given?

Optison is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection just before the start of your echocardiogram.

Your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely for at least 30 minutes after you receive Optison. This is to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction to the medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Optison is given with an echocardiogram, you will not be on a regular dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid after receiving Optison?

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

Optison side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives, skin redness, itching; warmth, redness, numbness, or tingly feeling; wheezing, trouble breathing, tight feeling in your chest or throat; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, serious or fatal reactions may occur during the injection or shortly afterward. Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • severe dizziness, or a cold sweat;

  • chest pain, wheezing, trouble breathing;

  • fast or slow heartbeats;

  • severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, confusion; or

  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, weak or shallow breathing.

You may be more likely to have a serious reaction if you have severe or uncontrolled heart problems (congestive heart failure, a recent heart attack, serious heart rhythm disorder).

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • nausea;

  • chest pain;

  • pain in your side or lower back; or

  • pain, swelling, or irritation where the injection was given.

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 Optison?

Other drugs may interact with perflutren, 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

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

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

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