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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Visipaque

Generic Name: iodixanol (Pronunciation: eye oh DIX an ol)

What is iodixanol (Visipaque)?

Iodixanol is in a group of drugs called radiopaque (RAY dee oh payk) contrast agents. Iodixanol contains iodine, a substance that absorbs x-rays. Radiopaque contrast agents are used to allow blood vessels, organs, and other non-bony tissues to be seen more clearly on a CT scan or other radiologic (x-ray) examination.

Iodixanol is used to help diagnose certain disorders of the brain, blood vessels, and kidneys.

Iodixanol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of iodixanol (Visipaque)?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • wheezing or trouble breathing; or
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • headache, dizziness, nervousness;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • pain, warmth, or cold feeling where the medicine was injected;
  • numbness, warmth, or tingly feeling;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • skin redness or itching; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about iodixanol (Visipaque)?

Tell your doctor if you have asthma, hay fever, or a history of food or drug allergies, especially if you have had any type of reaction to another contrast agent.

Drink extra fluids before and after you receive iodixanol. This medication can cause you to get dehydrated, which can lead to dangerous effects on your kidneys. Follow your doctor's instructions about the types and amount of fluids you should drink before and after your test.

Older adults may need special care in avoiding dehydration by drinking extra fluids before and after the radiologic test. Your kidney function may also need to be watched closely after you have received iodixanol.

Iodixanol should not be given to a child who has recently used a laxative (stool softener) or has not eaten properly before the test. You should not receive iodixanol if you have any type of active infection.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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