Skip to Content

HD 85 Suspension

Generic Name: barium sulfate
Dosage Form: suspension

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 24, 2021.

Disclaimer: This drug has not been found by FDA to be safe and effective, and this labeling has not been approved by FDA. For further information about unapproved drugs, click here.

HD 85 Suspension Description

HD 85 is a raspberry flavored barium sulfate suspension. It is a contrast medium developed for use in x-ray diagnosis of the gastrointestinal tract.

The product contains 85% w/v barium sulfate USP, suspending and dispersing agents, simethicone, citric acid, flavoring, potassium sorbate, sodium citrate, saccharin sodium and water. Barium sulfate has the empirical formula of BaSO4.

HD 85 Suspension - Clinical Pharmacology

Barium sulfate is an insoluble material which, because of its density, provides a positive contrast during x-ray examination. Barium sulfate is an inert radiopaque material which is not absorbed or metabolized and is eliminated intact from the body in a manner similar to other non-absorbed inorganic materials. Excretion rate is a function of gastrointestinal transit time.

Indications and Usage for HD 85 Suspension

HD 85 is indicated for use as a contrast medium in x-ray diagnosis of the gastrointestinal tract. The suspension may be administered without dilution for double contrast colon examinations. Aqueous dilutions of HD 85 may be administered rectally for routine filled colon studies or given orally for esophageal swallow, filled stomach or enteroclysis procedures.


Barium sulfate products are contraindicated in patients with known or suspected obstruction of the colon, known or suspected gastrointestinal tract perforation, suspected tracheoesophageal fistula, obstructing lesions of the small intestine, pyloric stenosis, inflammation or neoplastic lesions of the rectum, recent rectal biopsy, or known hypersensitivity to barium sulfate formulations.

Barium sulfate suspensions should not be used for infants with swallowing disorders or for newborns with complete duodenal or jejunal obstruction or when distal small bowel or colon obstruction is suspected. Barium sulfate suspension is not recommended for very small preterm infants and young babies requiring small volumes of contrast media or for infants and young children when there is a possibility of leakage from the gastrointestinal tract, such as necrotizing enterocolitis, unexplained pneumoperitoneum, gasless abdomen, other bowel perforation, esophageal perforation or post operative anastomosis.

Known hypersensitivity or allergy to latex is a contraindication for the use of balloon retention enema tips containing latex. The use of a retention cuff enema tip is not necessary or desirable in patients with normal sphincter tone. The presence of adequate sphincter tone can be judged by preliminary rectal digital examination.


Serious adverse reactions, including death, have been reported with the administration of barium sulfate formulations and are usually associated with the technique of administration, the underlying pathological condition and/or patient hypersensitivities.

Vomiting following oral administration of barium sulfate may lead to aspiration pneumonitis. Oral administration of barium sulfate suspension by an infant sucking a bottle and administration of large quantities by catheter are reported to be likely to result in aspiration into the tracheobronchial tree. Cardiopulmonary arrest leading to fatality has been reported in infants following aspiration. Aspiration of smaller amounts may cause inflammation.

Barium sulfate preparations used as radiopaque media contain a number of additives to provide diagnostic properties and patient palatability. Allergic responses following the use of barium sulfate suspensions have been reported. Skin irritation, redness, inflammation and hives have been reported for infants and small children following spillage of barium sulfate suspension on their skin. These responses are thought to be caused by the flavors and/or preservatives used in the product.

Barium sulfate suspension has been reported to cause obstruction of the small bowel (impaction) in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis. It has also been reported to cause fluid overload from the absorption of water during studies in infants when Hirschsprung’s Disease is suspected.

Barium sulfate suspension intravasation can be a serious complication. Mortality has been reported as a result of vaginal or rectal intravasation and is believed to be due to massive pulmonary embolism occurring within minutes of the inciting event.

In patients with increased cranial pressure, barium sulfate suspension enemas present an additional risk of further increasing intracranial pressure.

Care must be taken during the insertion of an enema tip into the patient to prevent application of pressure to the vagus nerve which can lead to vasovagal reactions and syncopal episodes. Cardiac arrhythmia or other cardiovascular side effects can occur as a result of colon distention.



Diagnostic procedures which involve the use of radiopaque contrast agents should be carried out under the direction of personnel with the requisite training and with a thorough knowledge of the particular procedure to be performed. A history of bronchial asthma, atopy, as evidenced by hay fever and eczema, a family history of allergy, or a previous reaction to a contrast agent warrant special attention. Caution should be exercised with the use of radiopaque media in severely debilitated patients and in those with marked hypertension or advanced cardiac disease.

Anaphylactic and allergic reactions have been reported during double contrast examinations in which glucagon has been used.

An increased risk of perforation has been reported in neonates with intussusception. In patients with cystic fibrosis or blind loops of the bowel or ileus, there is a risk of inspissation leading to partial or complete obstruction.

In neonates and infants with motility disorders such as Hirschsprung’s Disease, retention of large amounts of barium sulfate suspension may result in absorption of water from the suspension and fluid overload. The addition of small amounts of salt to the barium sulfate suspension has been reported to reduce the problem.

Ingestion of barium sulfate suspension is not recommended in patients with a history of food aspiration. If barium sulfate suspension is aspirated into the larynx, further administration of the suspension should be immediately discontinued.

Patient preparation for diagnostic gastrointestinal examinations frequently requires cathartics and a liquid diet. The various preparations can result in water loss for the patient. Patients should be rehydrated quickly following a barium sulfate suspension examination of the gastrointestinal tract. In patients with reduced colon motility, saline cathartics may be required after the barium sulfate suspension enema. Saline cathartics are recommended on a routine basis in patients with a history of constipation unless clinically contraindicated.

Where enema tips are used, care must be taken during insertion into the patient, since forceful or too deep insertion may cause tearing or perforation of the rectum. Insertion of an enema tip should be done only after digital examination by qualified medical personnel. When balloon retention tips are used, care should be taken to avoid overinflation of the balloon, since overfilling or asymmetrical filling may cause displacement of the tip. Such a displacement can lead to rectal perforation or barium sulfate granulomas. Inflation of the balloon should be done under fluoroscopic control by qualified medical personnel. Do not unnecessarily move the enema tip once inserted.

A specially designed enema tip is required for a barium sulfate suspension examination of a colostomy patient.

Intubation of an enteroclysis catheter should be done by qualified medical personnel. Perforation of the duodenum has been reported.

Because of reported anaphylactoid reactions to latex, the use of non-latex gloves during the procedure should be considered.


Safe use of barium sulfate during pregnancy has not been established. Barium sulfate should be used in pregnant women only if the possible benefits outweigh the potential risks. Elective radiography of the abdomen is considered to be contraindicated during pregnancy due to the risk to the fetus from radiation exposure. Radiation is known to cause harm to the unborn fetus exposed in utero.

Pediatric Use

The radiographic contrast agents used for examination of children do not differ substantially from those used for adults. The variation in physical sizes of pediatric patients requires more thorough attention to individualizing dosage. The volume of barium sulfate suspension and the barium sulfate content required will also depend upon the technique used and the clinical need.

Adverse Reactions

Adverse reactions accompanying the use of barium sulfate formulations are infrequent and usually mild, though severe reactions (approximately 1 in 500,000) and fatalities (approximately 1 in 2,000,000) have occurred. Procedural complications are rare, but may include aspiration pneumonitis, barium sulfate impaction, granuloma formation, intravasation, embolization and peritonitis following intestinal perforation, vasovagal and syncopal episodes, and fatalities. EKG changes have been shown to occur following or during barium sulfate suspension enemas. It is of the utmost importance to be completely prepared to treat any such occurrence.

Due to increased likelihood of allergic reactions in atopic patients, a complete history of known and suspected allergies as well as allergic-like symptoms, such as rhinitis, bronchial asthma, eczema and urticaria, must be obtained prior to any medical procedure.

Aspiration of large amounts of barium sulfate suspension may cause pneumonitis or nodular granulomas of interstitial lung tissues and lymph nodes; asphyxiation and death have been reported.

Transient bacteremia, beginning almost immediately and lasting up to 15 minutes, may also occur during rectal administration of barium sulfate suspension and rarely septicemia has been reported.

A rare mild allergic reaction would most likely be generalized pruritus, erythema or urticaria (approximately 1 in 100,000 reactions). Such reactions will often respond to an antihistamine. More serious reactions (approximately 1 in 500,000) may result in laryngeal edema, bronchospasm or hypotension.

Severe reactions which may require emergency measures are often characterized by peripheral vasodilation, hypotension, reflex tachycardia, dyspnea, bronchospasm, agitation, confusion and cyanosis, progressing to unconsciousness. Treatment should be initiated immediately according to established standard of care.

Apprehensive patients may develop weakness, pallor, tinnitus, diaphoresis and bradycardia following the administration of any diagnostic agent. Such reactions are usually non-allergic in nature.

Allergic reactions to the enema examination accessories, in particular to retention catheters (tips) with latex cuffs, can occur. Such reactions could occur immediately and result in the previously mentioned acute allergic-like responses or might be delayed in appearance and result in a contact dermatitis. Known atopic patients, particularly those with a history of asthma or eczema, should be evaluated for alternative methods of administration in order to avoid these adverse reactions. These plastic/rubber accessories are disposable, single-use devices that must not be reused or left in the body cavity for an extended period of time.

Postmarketing Experiences

The following adverse experiences have been reported in patients receiving products containing barium sulfate. These adverse experiences are listed alphabetically: abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, foreign body trauma relating to procedural complications, headache, laryngeal burning and irritation, leukocytosis, procedural site reactions, rash, and vomiting.


In rare instances, immediate repeat oral examinations utilizing standard dosages may lead to severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. Cases reported in adults implicate a total dose in the range of 30 ounces (900 mL) of suspension. Instances of this type have resolved spontaneously and they are not considered to be life-threatening.

HD 85 Suspension Dosage and Administration

Suspension Preparation

The volume and concentration used will vary depending upon the method of patient preparation, the desired level of contrast density, individual variation in patient anatomy and radiographic equipment. The following dilutions are suggested for HD 85:


Double Contrast Colon

Routine Filled Colon

Esophageal Swallow

Filled stomach and

Rectal Localization


HD 85 undiluted

3 parts water to
1 part HD 85

1 part water to
2 parts HD 85

1 part water
1 part HD 85

HD 85 undiluted

Shake well before using.






Patient Preparation

Successful examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract requires that the stomach be empty and essentially free of fluid. This can usually be accomplished by instructing the patient to abstain from eating or drinking anything after the evening meal before the examination. The preparation for small bowel examinations, done separately or combined with an upper gastrointestinal series, is the same.

For examinations of the colon, the patient should be given a low solid diet for a minimum of 24 hours before the examination. Laxatives should also be used to clean the colon. In order to obtain thorough cleansing of the colon, a 2 liter water enema one hour before the examination may be necessary.

Double Contrast Colon Examination

The following procedure is suggested for double contrast examination of a well prepared adult colon. The procedure is intended as a guide only. The actual procedure will depend upon patient symptoms and conditions as well as physician preference and judgement. The examination should be performed by a trained physician or properly trained medical personnel.

An enema administration system with 1/2” ID tubing, such as Aircon, is used for ease of administration. At the physician’s discretion, fluoroscopy may be used during the introduction of the barium sulfate suspension to determine contraindications for continuing the examination.

Start with the patient either prone or in the left lateral position (physician preference). The enema tip is inserted and taped to the buttocks with one or two pieces of tape. Approximately 500 mL of HD 85 Suspension (or enough to reach the splenic flexure) is introduced into the colon.

After introducing HD 85 to the splenic flexure, the clamp on the large bore tubing is shut. The patient is now turned left anterior oblique and air is introduced.

The patient is turned to the prone position, air is introduced and the patient is rotated onto the right side. Additional air is introduced to move the column of HD 85 to the hepatic flexure. The patient is turned onto their back and additional air is introduced. If HD 85 has not reached the cecum, the head of the table may be raised to 45º. Finally, the patient is turned onto their left side and additional air is introduced. Additional turning of the patient with the introduction of air may be required to achieve complete distention of the colon.

With the patient prone, the enema bag is placed on the floor and the large bore tubing clamp opened in order to drain the barium sulfate suspension from the rectum. Spot films of the rectosigmoid may now be obtained. Additional air may be insufflated to provide adequate distention of the colon.

Removal of the exam tip at this time is optional, according to the preference of the examiner. Rotate the patient slowly 360° taking spot films and overhead radiographs.

Enteroclysis Examination

A barium sulfate concentration of 40 to 50% w/v is suggested. One part water added to one part HD 85 will provide a 42% w/v barium sulfate suspension.

Rectal Localization

HD 85 barium sulfate suspension may be used undiluted to radiographically locate the rectal area prior to radiation treatment.

Pediatric Use

The quantity of suspension used and the barium sulfate concentration will depend upon patient size, technique used and clinical need.

For single patient use only. Properly discard unused portion.

How is HD 85 Suspension Supplied

Catalog No. 139244. NDC 68240-029-45. 450 mL (15 fl. oz.) bottle; twenty-four (24) bottles per case.

Catalog No. 139294. NDC 68240-029-90. 900 mL (30 fl. oz.) bottle; twelve (12) bottles per case.

Shake well before using.

Store at 25ºC (77ºF); excursions permitted to 15º to 30ºC (59° to 86°F). Protect from freezing.

HD 85 is a trademark of Lafayette Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated.

Made in Mexico
Manufactured by:
Mallinckrodt Inc.
St. Louis, MO 63042 USA

MID 1295015 Rev 04/2009


  • Multi-purpose
  • High Density
  • Dilute for single contrast




HD 85

Rx only

NDC 68240-029-90

Catalog No. 139294

A raspberry flavored 85% w/v barium sulfate USP suspension for use
as a contrast medium in x-ray diagnosis of the gastrointestinal tract.

Contents: Barium sulfate USP, suspending and dispersing agents,
simethicone, citric acid, flavoring, potassium sorbate, sodium citrate, saccharin sodium and water.

Contraindications: Do not use in patients with suspected gastrointestinal tract perforation or known hypersensitivity to barium sulfate formulations.

Dosage and Administration: See package insert for complete instructions.

Shake well before using.

For single patient use only. Properly discard unused portion.

Storage: Store at 25ºC (77ºF); excursions
permitted to 15º to 30ºC (59º to 86ºF).
Protect from freezing.

Net Contents: 900 mL (30 fl. oz.)


Made in Mexico
Manufactured by Mallinckrodt Inc.
St. Louis, MO 63042 USA

MID 1600160 Rev 04/2009



HD 85
barium sulfate for suspension
Product Information
Product Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG LABEL Item Code (Source) NDC:68240-029
Route of Administration RECTAL, ORAL DEA Schedule
Active Ingredient/Active Moiety
Ingredient Name Basis of Strength Strength
Inactive Ingredients
Ingredient Name Strength
Product Characteristics
Color Score
Shape Size
# Item Code Package Description
1 NDC:68240-029-45 24 BOTTLE, PLASTIC (30 BOTTLE) in 1 CASE
1 450 mL in 1 BOTTLE, PLASTIC
2 NDC:68240-029-90 12 BOTTLE, PLASTIC (30 BOTTLE) in 1 CASE
2 900 mL in 1 BOTTLE, PLASTIC
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
unapproved other 12/01/2009
Labeler - Mallinckrodt Inc. (810407189)
Name Address ID/FEI Operations
Mallinckrodt Medical, S.A. de C.V. 810407189 manufacture, analysis
Mallinckrodt Inc.

More about HD 85 (barium sulfate)

Consumer resources

Professional resources

Other brands
Volumen, E-Z-Paque, Entroease, NeuLumEX, ... +29 more

Related treatment guides