Skip to Content


Active substance(s): FLUDEOXYGLUCOSE (18-F)

PDF options:  View Fullscreen   Download PDF

PDF Transcript


Fludeoxyglucose ( F) Injection,

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you are administered this

Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.

If you have any further questions, ask your referring doctor
or the specialist physician in Nuclear Medicine who will
supervise the procedure.

If any of the side effects get serious, or if you notice any side
effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your referring
doctor or the specialist physician in Nuclear Medicine who
has supervised the procedure.

Throughout this leaflet the medicine is referred to as “FDG”
In this leaflet:
1. What FDG is and what it is used for.
2. Before FDG is administered.
3. How FDG will be used.
4. Possible side effects.
5. How to store FDG.
6. Further information.
1. What FDG is and what it is used for.
What FDG is:
FDG is a type of medicine called a diagnostic radiopharmaceutical
medicine. It is used to help identify (diagnose) and pinpoint
(localise) the illness you may have.
What FDG is used for:
FDG is used to help diagnose and locate certain types of medical
illnesses, including brain problems, heart problems, cancer,
infections and inflammatory illnesses. FDG consists of a sugar
called deoxyglucose that is attached to a tiny amount of a
radioactive substance, known as Fluorine-18, to form a substance
called Fludeoxyglucose 18F.
Your body contains millions of living cells. All the cells use sugar
(glucose) for energy. When you have certain medical conditions,
some parts of your body will use more glucose than normal.
Doctors use this change in the amount of glucose used to help
identify and pinpoint the site of certain medical conditions.
When FDG is given to you, a small amount of radioactive glucose
spreads around your body and reaches the areas where glucose is
being used the most.
By using a special camera, known as a PET scanner or a gammacamera, pictures (images) of the radiation coming from the FDG
let your doctor ‘see’ where the radioactive glucose is being used
the most. He/she can then use this to help identify (diagnose)
and pinpoint sites where you have a particular medical condition.
This diagnostic medicine can be used to help find out:
Whether you have certain brain conditions such as epilepsy,
dementia (Alzheimer’s), infections or tumours.
ii. If you have an abnormality of the heart.
iii. If you have a certain type of cancer and where it is located.
iv. How well your cancer treatment is working.
2. Before FDG is administered
FDG must never be administered:

if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to fludeoxyglucose (18F)
or any of the other ingredients of FDG, (see section 6 for a
list of ingredients).

Take special care with FDG:
Tell your doctor or specialist:

If you have diabetes. The test may not give the right result if
you have high blood sugar. Also read the sections overleaf on
using other medicines and using FDG with food and drink.

If you have an infection or an inflammatory disease.

If you suffer from kidney problems.
Tell your doctor or the specialist in Nuclear Medicine:

If you are pregnant or believe you may be pregnant.

If you are under 18 years old.

If you are breast-feeding. Your doctor or specialist will advise
you what to do. Also read the section on pregnancy and breast
Using other medicines
Please tell your doctor or the specialist who will supervise the
procedure if you are taking, or have recently taken, any other
medicines, even those not from your doctor or specialist, such as
treatments that you might buy in a pharmacy or in a supermarket,
since they may interfere with the results of the tests, including:

any medicine that may affect the level of glucose in your body,
such as medicines that have an effect on inflammation
(corticosteroids), medicines that are used to treat convulsions
(valproate, carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital), and
medicines that affect the nervous system (adrenaline,
noradrenaline, dopamine), as well as glucose and insulin,

any medicine that may increase the amount of blood cells in
your body.
Using FDG with food and drink:
Before receiving the medicine drink plenty of water during the
4 hours before you have the test.
This medicine can only be given to patients who have not eaten
anything (been fasting) for at least 4 hours.
Your blood sugar level should be measured before you receive the
medicine. If you have a high blood sugar level it will be difficult for
the specialist to understand the results of the test.
All Patients Except Diabetics:
You should not eat for 4 hours before you receive the injection but
you should continue to drink water (not tea, coffee or soft drinks). If
you have had anything to eat or drink in the 4 hours before the
injection (other than water) tell your specialist.
If you are diabetic the specialist will tell you what you can eat and
drink and when you should take your diabetic drugs so that the test
will work. You should continue to drink water (not tea, coffee or
soft drinks). The test may not give the right result if you have high
blood glucose.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
You must tell the specialist before the injection of FDG if there is a
possibility that you might be pregnant, if you have missed your
period or if you are breast-feeding.
If you are pregnant:
This diagnostic test should not normally be used by pregnant
women. Your doctor will only consider this examination during your
pregnancy in case of absolute necessity. When in doubt, it is
important to consult the specialist who will supervise the procedure.
If you are breast-feeding:
You will need to stop doing so for about 12 hours after receiving this
radioactive medicine and any maternal milk pumped should be
discarded. This is because it may harm your baby. A small amount
of this radioactive medicine could get into your breast milk. Your
doctor or specialist will advise you about when you can start breastfeeding again.
Ask your doctor or specialist who will advise you about taking any

Before FDG administration you should:

avoid physical activity

drink plenty of water during the 4 hours before the test

not eat anything for at least 4 hours
After administration of FDG has been performed, you should:

Urinate frequently - this will help to remove FDG from your
If you are looking after children you should not cuddle or hug
them for about 12 hours after you have had the scan. This is
because your body will still contain a small amount of
There are strict laws on the use, handling and disposal of
radiopharmaceutical products. FDG will only be used in a
hospital. This product will only be handled and given to you by
people who are trained and qualified to use it safely. These
persons will take special care to use the product safely and will
keep you informed of their actions.
Driving and using machines
FDG will not affect your ability to drive or to use machines.
Important information about some of the ingredients of FDG
FDG contains a sugar (glucose) attached to a tiny amount of a
radioactive substance, known as Fluorine-18. This stops being
radioactive after about 4 hours.
The dose of FDG given to you may contain sodium at levels
greater than 1 mmol (23 mg). This is important information for
patients who are on a low sodium diet.
3. How will FDG be used?
FDG must be given to you by a qualified doctor or a person who is
a specialist in handling radioactive medicines. This medicine is
injected into one of your blood vessels (a vein) using a needle and
The doctor or specialist supervising the procedure will decide on
the amount of FDG needed for the test. It will be the smallest
amount needed to obtain a result.
The amount of FDG that you receive for the test will be carefully
worked out. The medicine is made just for you and contains the
right amount of radioactivity that will give clear pictures (images).
The recommended dose for an adult ranges from 100 to 400 MBq
(depending on your body mass, the type of camera used for
imaging and the way in which the images are taken). A
megabecquerel (MBq) is a metric measurement unit of
Use in children
In case of use in children, the quantity to be administered will be
adapted to the child’s body mass.
Administration of FDG and conduct of the procedure
FDG is administered intravenously.
One injection is sufficient to conduct the test that your physician
needs. After injection, you will be offered a drink and asked to
urinate immediately before the test.
During the test, you will need to be completely at rest, lying
down comfortably, without reading or talking.
Duration of the procedure:
Your doctor or specialist will inform you about the usual duration
of the procedure. The time taken for the test varies and depends
on the number of pictures (images) that your doctor requires.
Normally taking the pictures (the scan) begins 45 minutes to
1 hour after your injection and takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to
If you have been administered more FDG than you should:
An overdose is almost impossible because you will only receive a
single dose of FDG precisely controlled by the specialist
supervising the procedure. However, in the case of an overdose,
you will receive the appropriate treatment.
In particular, the specialist in charge of the procedure may
recommend that you drink a lot in order to help remove FDG
from your body. FDG is removed from your body in urine.

Should you have any further questions on the use of FDG, please ask
your doctor or specialist.
4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines FDG can cause side effects, although not
everybody gets them.
Very few side effects have been reported with FDG because the
amount of radioactive drug that is injected is small. There is a very
low risk of cancer and hereditary problems.
Your doctor has considered that the clinical benefit that you will
obtain from the procedure with the radiopharmaceutical overcomes
the risk due to radiation.
Possible side effects include itching, and a feeling of hotness or a
swelling where the injection is given.
If any side effects get serious, or if you notice any side effects not
listed on this leaflet, please tell your doctor or specialist.
5. How to store FDG
Like all medicines, FDG must be kept out of the reach and sight of
children. Because FDG is radioactive, it must always be handled and
prepared in a special facility, such as a hospital Nuclear Medicine
Department, which is licensed to receive, prepare and store this
special type of medicine. The medicine must only be given to you by
someone who is qualified to handle radioactive medicines. Do not
store above 30°C. Do not use FDG after the expiry date which is
stated on the label. The medicine must be used within 12 hours of
being made. After it is opened (by putting a needle through the top
of the stopper and removing some of the radioactive liquid) the
medicine can be used for up to 4 hours.
The container (a small glass bottle) must always be kept in an outer
container that has a specific thickness to provide radioactive
protection. Any medicine remaining after your injection will be
disposed of by the hospital in accordance with the rules for handling
this type of medicine.
6. Further information
What FDG contains
The active substance is fludeoxyglucose (18F). 1 ml solution for
injection contains 110-10,000 MBq fludeoxyglucose (18F) at the
date and time of calibration. The other ingredients are: Water for
Injections, Sodium Chloride Sodium Dihydrogen Phosphate
Dihydrate and Ethanol.
What FDG looks like and contents of the pack
The medicine, FDG, is a clear, colourless liquid that is provided in a
small glass bottle with a rubber stopper and a cap. Because the
medicine contains a small amount of radioactivity, it will be made
especially for you and will be provided for you by your doctor just
before it is injected into your vein. The amount that will be injected
will vary depending on the diagnostic test that your doctor has
asked for. The activity per vial ranges from 110 MBq to 50,000 MBq
at the date and time of calibration.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
The MA Holder:
Alliance Medical Radiopharmacy Ltd, Iceni Centre, Warwick
Technology Centre, Warwick, CV34 6DA. UK.
Tel: 01782 667680.
Manufacturing sites:
Keele University Science Park, Keele, Staffordshire, UK.
Tel: 01782 667680.
Royal Preston Hospital, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, UK.
Tel: 01772 772460.
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation, Sutton, Surrey, UK.
Tel: 0208 661 6840.
This leaflet was revised in October 2014

Is this leaflet hard to see or read?
Phone 01782 667680 for help

+ Expand Transcript

Further information

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