Why is this medication prescribed?
X-rays or computed tomography are used in conjunction with barium sulphate to help clinicians inspect the oesophagus (tube connecting the mouth and stomach), stomach, and intestine (CAT scan, CT scan; a type of body scan that uses a computer to put together x-ray images to create cross-sectional or three dimensional pictures of the inside of the body). Radiopaque contrast media are a family of drugs that includes barium sulphate. It functions by coating the oesophagus, stomach, or intestine with a substance that is not absorbed into the body so that diseased or damaged portions can be plainly seen by an x-ray or CT scan.
How should this medicine be used?
For mixing with water, barium sulphate is available as a powder, a liquid suspension, a paste, and a tablet. The paste and pill are taken by mouth, while the powder and water mixture and the suspension may be ingested or administered as an enema (liquid inserted into the rectum). Before an x-ray or CT scan, barium sulphate is typically administered once or more.
A barium sulphate enema will be delivered by medical personnel at the testing facility if you choose to use one. If you’re taking barium sulphate orally, you might get the medication when you get to the testing facility or you might get instructions for when to take it at home on the night before and/or the day of your exam. Take barium sulphate exactly as prescribed if you’re taking it at home. Do not take it in larger or less amounts, or more frequently or at different times than recommended.
Do not chew, break, or crush the tablets; instead, swallow them whole.
Before each usage, give the beverage a good shake to evenly distribute the medication. Make sure you are given mixing instructions and that you comprehend them if you are given a powder to mix with water and consume at home. If you have any questions regarding combining your medications, see your doctor or the testing facility staff.
Before and after your exam, detailed instructions will be given to you to follow. The day before your test, you might be instructed to consume only clear liquids after a certain time, refrain from eating or drinking after a certain hour, and/or take laxatives or enemas. Additionally, you could be instructed to use laxatives to eliminate the barium sulphate from your system following the test. Make sure you comprehend their instructions and pay close attention to what they say. If you are not given guidance or if you have any questions about the directions you are given, ask your doctor or the staff at the testing facility.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking or using barium sulfate,
- If you have any of the following allergies: barium sulphate, other radiopaque contrast media, simethicone (Gas-X, Phazyme, and others), other medications, foods, latex, or any of the ingredients in the kind of barium sulphate you’ll be using or taking, let your doctor and the staff at the testing facility know. For a list of the ingredients, ask the testing facility staff.
- Inform your doctor and the testing facility personnel of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking or intend to use. Your doctor will advise you regarding whether you should take your usual medications the day of your test and whether you need to wait a certain amount of time before swallowing barium sulfate.
- Inform your doctor if you have recently undergone a rectal biopsy, if you have any blockages, sores, or holes in your oesophagus, stomach, or intestine, or if you have swelling or rectum cancer. Additionally, let your doctor know if your infant or young kid suffers from any conditions that affect the oesophagus, stomach, or intestines, or if they have undergone any gastrointestinal surgery. Your doctor could advise against giving barium sulphate to you or your kid.
- Inform your doctor if you have recently undergone any type of surgery, particularly those involving the colon (large intestine) or rectum, if you’ve undergone a colostomy (a procedure to make a hole for waste to exit the body through the abdomen), if you have intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri, a condition where there is high pressure in the skull that may result in headaches, vision loss, and other symptoms), or (inhaled food into the lungs). Additionally, let your doctor know if you or any family members have ever experienced allergies or asthma; allergy to dust, pollen, or other elements in the air, often known as hay fever; hives; eczema (a skin rash that is red and itchy and is brought on by an allergy or sensitivity to environmental chemicals); constipation; Hirschsprung’s disease (genetic disorder in which the intestines do not function regularly); cystic fibrosis (inherited condition in which the body generates thick, sticky mucus that can interfere with breathing and digesting); high blood pressure; or heart problems.
- If you think you might be pregnant, if you want to get pregnant, or if you’re breastfeeding, let your doctor know. The foetus may be harmed by the radiation used in x-rays and CT scans.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
You’ll be told what you can eat and drink the day before your test by your doctor or the staff at the testing facility. Carefully follow these instructions.
After your test is finished, make sure you replenish your fluids.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose of barium sulphate as soon as you remember it if it was prescribed for you to take it at home and you forgot to. If you didn’t take the barium sulphate at the appointed time, let the testing centre staff know right away.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Effects from barium sulphate may be negative. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Stomach pain
- Light skin
- Hearing ringing
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Tell the workers at the testing facility if you suffer any of these symptoms, or call your doctor right away:
- Ruddy skin
- Throat tightness or swelling
- Breathing or swallowing challenges
- Rapid heart rate
- Blue-tinged skin tone
Other adverse consequences from barium sulphate are possible. If you experience any odd issues while taking or right after obtaining this medication, call your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
If you are prescribed barium sulphate to take at home, make sure to keep the medication tightly packed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom). You might be instructed to cool the prescription in the refrigerator before taking it.
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
Overdose symptoms could include:
- Stomach pain
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the testing facility.
Never allow someone else to take your medication.
You should keep a written record of every drug you take, including prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medications, vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements. Every time you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital, you should carry this list with you. Additionally, it is crucial to have this knowledge on hand in case of emergency.
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