Sep 122010

It is making the news that imaging contrast can be dangerous. As to the recent complaint making the news this is nothing new. I picked one of the agents, OmniScan, and a similar warning came as early as on the December 2007 label: “Acute renal failure has occurred in patients with preexisting renal insufficiency. Use the lowest necessary dose of OMNISCAN and evaluate renal function in these patients .” Must have been a slow news day.

Also, and what is not in the article, is that gadolinium is extremely toxic in its pure form. The drug companies bind gadolinium to another compound to make it safer and so it will leave your body quickly. Obviously contrast is not something you want to be taking. Looking just at OmniScan long term health effects (i.e. cancer) were not studied so it is hard to tell if it has long term health effects. Regardless, gadolinium based contrast is probably not a great drug for anyone to take. As Eriksgirl noted when I was talking to her no one is getting an MRI for fun, it is for something serious. In the end it becomes one of those necessary evils.