Varibar Thin (oral and rectal)
Generic Name: barium sulfate (oral and rectal) (BER ee um SUL fate)
Brand Name: Digibar 190, Entero VU, Esopho-Cat, E-Z-Paque, Maxibar, Medebar Plus, Polibar ACB, Scan C, Sitzmarks, Smoothie Readi-Cat 2, Sol-O-Pake, Tagitol V, Ultra R, Varibar Nectar, Varibar Thin, Volumen
What is barium sulfate?
Barium sulfate is a contrast agent. Barium sulfate works by coating the inside of your esophagus, stomach, or intestines which allows them to be seen more clearly on a CT scan or other radiologic (x-ray) examination.
Barium sulfate is used to help diagnose certain disorders of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
Barium sulfate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding before your medical test.
Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a contrast agent.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to barium sulfate or another contrast agent.
You may not be able to use barium sulfate if:
you recently had surgery, an injury, or a biopsy involving your stomach, esophagus, or intestines;
you recently had radiation treatment of your pelvic area;
you recently had a perforation (a hole or tear) in your esophagus, stomach, or intestines;
you have stomach bleeding; or
you have poor blood flow to your intestines (ischemia).
To make sure barium sulfate is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
slow digestion, a blockage in your stomach or intestines;
heart disease or high blood pressure;
Hirschsprung's disease (a disorder of the intestines);
a condition called pseudotumor cerebri (high pressure inside the skull that may cause headaches, vision loss, or other symptoms);
a fistula (abnormal connection) between your esophagus and your trachea (windpipe);
trouble swallowing, or if you have ever choked on food by accidentally inhaling it into your lungs;
if you have recently had a rectal biopsy;
if you are allergic to latex rubber.
It is not known whether barium sulfate will harm an unborn baby, but the radiation used in x-rays and CT scans may be harmful. Before your medical test, tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
Barium sulfate may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Before your medical test, tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is barium sulfate given?
Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.
Barium sulfate comes in tablets, paste, cream, or liquid forms.
In some cases, barium sulfate is taken by mouth. The liquid form may also be used as a rectal enema.
You may need to begin using this medication at home a day before your medical test. Follow your doctor's instructions about how much of the medication to use and how often.
If you are receiving barium sulfate as a rectal enema, a healthcare professional will give you the medication at the clinic or hospital where your testing will take place.
Do not crush, chew, or break a barium sulfate tablet. Swallow the pill whole.
Dissolve the barium sulfate powder in a small amount of water. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.
If you receive the medication as a liquid to take by mouth, shake the liquid well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about what to eat or drink within the 24-hour period before your test.
Drink plenty of liquids to prevent constipation.
Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you are using barium sulfate at home, call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid after receiving barium sulfate?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Barium sulfate side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain;
severe cramping, diarrhea, or constipation;
ringing in your ears;
sweating, confusion, fast heart rate; or
pale skin, blue-colored skin, weakness.
Common side effects may include:
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect barium sulfate?
Other drugs may interact with barium sulfate, 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.
More about Varibar Thin (barium sulfate)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
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- Drug class: non-iodinated contrast media
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Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about barium sulfate.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.02.
Date modified: February 01, 2018
Last reviewed: January 03, 2018