Radiological ionic contrast media (Injection)


Makes parts of your body show up better during an imaging test, such as a CT scan. Contrast media (dye) can be used for making images of many different body parts, including your kidneys, head, heart, or blood vessels.

Brand Name(s)

Cystografin-Dilute, Cystografin, Sinografin, Multihance, Feridex IV, Optimark, Cholografin Meglumine

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Make sure your doctor and the person who gives you this medicine know if you have had an allergic reaction to any contrast dye.

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine can be given different ways, depending on what part of your body the doctor needs to see. This medicine may be given through a needle or catheter (plastic tube) placed in one of your veins.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • You might also receive other medicine before you are given the contrast dye.
  • Tell your caregiver right away if any of this medicine gets on your skin. A caregiver might need to take your blood pressure, temperature, or pulse during the test.
  • You might need to stay for awhile after the test is done.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using. Different contrast dyes have different drug and food concerns. Some other things that affect other drugs and foods are what kind of test is being done and what part of your body is being tested.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have severe kidney problems or liver disease. Also tell your doctor if you have just had a liver transplant or if you are going to have a transplant. The use of a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) during an MRI should be avoided in patients with severe kidney problems, patients with severe kidney problems due to a severe liver disorder (hepato-renal syndrome), or patients with severe kidney problems before, during, or after a liver transplant. The risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), a very serious disease affecting the skin, muscle, and internal organs, may be increased. Your doctor may do some tests before your MRI to make sure your kidneys are working properly. Even if you have kidney problems or liver disease, your doctor may decide that it is still important to use the contrast dye. If you are on hemodialysis and treated with this contrast dye, your doctor may perform hemodialysis immediately after you receive the contrast agent.
  • Tell your doctor and the person who does the test if you are allergic to iodine, or if you have asthma or any type of allergy. This includes hay fever and food allergy.
  • Make sure your health caregiver knows if you have diabetes, sickle cell disease, thyroid problems, or pheochromocytoma (a tumor on the adrenal gland). Tell your caregiver if you have cancer, especially if you have multiple myeloma. Make sure your doctor knows if you have high blood pressure, blood circulation problems, or heart disease.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • The specific test you are having might have its own side effects or risks. Talk with you health caregiver about the test and what you should expect during and after the test.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain.
  • Fever.
  • Light-headedness or fainting.
  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness.
  • Seizure.
  • Severe pain while the dye is being injected, or stomach or back pain afterwards.
  • Shakiness, fast heartbeat, trouble breathing.
  • Skin swelling, hardness, tightness, burning, itching, or red or dark patches.
  • Stiff joints or trouble moving, deep bone pain.
  • Sudden or severe headache.
  • Yellow spots on your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild skin tingling, burning, or pain where the needle is placed.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

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