Adverse reactions, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping accompanying the use of
barium sulfate suspensions are infrequent, usually mild, and generally do not occur with this product.
Procedural complications are rare, but may include aspiration pneumonitis, granuloma formation,
intravasation, embolization and peritonitis following intestinal perforation, vasovagal and syncopal
episodes, and fatalities. It is of the utmost importance to be completely prepared to treat any such
Due to the increased likelihood of allergic reactions in atopic patients, it is important that a complete
history of known and suspected allergies as well as allergic-like symptoms, e.g., rhinitis, bronchial
asthma, eczema and urticaria, be obtained prior to any medical procedure utilizing these products. A
mild allergic reaction would most likely include generalized pruritus, erythema or urticaria. Such
reactions will generally respond to an antihistamine such as 50 mg of diphenhydramine, or its
equivalent. In the rarer, more serious reactions, laryngeal edema, bronchospasm or hypotension could
develop. Severe reactions which may require emergency measures are often characterized by
peripheral vasodilation, hypotension, reflex tachycardia, dyspnea, agitation, confusion and cyanosis
progressing to unconsciousness. Treatment should be initiated immediately with 0.3 to 0.5 mL of
1:1000 epinephrine subcutaneously. If bronchospasm predominates, 0.25 to 0.50 grams of intravenous
aminophylline should be given slowly. Appropriate vasopressors might be required.
Adrenocorticosteroids, even if given intravenously, exert no significant effect on the acute allergic
reactions for a few hours. The administration of these agents should not be regarded as emergency
measures for the treatment of allergic reactions. All levels of allergic reactions are extremely rare with
this product. 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
and are best treated by having the patient lie flat for an additional 10 to 30 minutes under observation.
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