1 What is Ablavar?

Brand: Ablavar

Generic: Gadofosveset

Ablavar is a gadolinium-based contrast agent. It is used before Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), a procedure which is used for clear visualization of arteries and other blood vessels. MRA is done to find the site of blockage in the vessels which can be treated during same procedure or by a separate one.

This drug can be given only by an experienced health care professional and it is available in the form of injectable solutions.

2 What to Know Before Using

Like any other drug, contrast agents also have their side effects, interactions and different effects on certain age groups. It is important for the patient and doctor to have an informative session before using Ablavar so that the patient is fully aware of the working and consequences of the drug.

  • Detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is preferred that a drug be started after it. Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products; history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in record to predict any drug interaction.
  • Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition with which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.
  • Age specific assessment is necessary to maintain a safety profile. There is lack of enough evidence by studies to rule out specific side effects in children and elderly. Old patients tend to have more chance of kidney disease and this will increase side effects in elderly. There are also inadequate studies to rule out its effects and harms in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
  • Drug interactions may result due to use of multiple drugs at the same time. It is important for the doctor to inform all the possible effects of using additional drugs. The patient should not use any new drug before consulting the physician. Alcohol, tobacco and certain foods may also cause interactions harmful for the body.
  • Other medical conditions may also interfere with the drug and lead to increase in side effects. The conditions like asthma, history of heart disease or heart rhythm problems, kidney problems, diabetes and hypertension should be informed by the patient as these problems may affect working and removal of gadofosveset from the body.

3 Proper Usage

To use Ablavar properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. 

This drug is available in the form of injectable solution which is given prior to MRA. It can only be given by trained medical personnel.

4 Precautions To Take

Like any other drug, there are some precautions you should take when using Ablavar which will decrease the risks involved with therapy and also improve the outcome.

There are some tips to make situation better for the patients.

  • Consult your doctor if there is any sign of allergy to the drug.
  • Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a serious complication of this drug and make sure to consult your physician in case of any side effect.
  • Anaphylaxis is an emergency life threatening situation and the patient should get medical help as soon as possible.
  • Irregular heart rhythms may occur due to this contrast agent. Consult your doctor if there is any irregularity in heartbeat.
  • Do not start any other drug, prescription or non-prescription, without consulting your doctor.
  • Consult the doctor if any serious problem is suspected.
  • Storage of drug in a dry environment at room temperature.

5 Potential Side Effects

There may be some side effects experienced by the patient while using Ablavar.

More common side effects include cough, difficulty in swallowing, dizziness, fast heartbeat, hives, itching, swelling of the eyelids and other parts of head, shortness of breath, skin rash, chest tightness, unusual tiredness and wheezing.

Blurred vision, paresthesia, faintness, lightheadedness, redness of the skin, headache, nervousness, pounding in the ears and excessive sweating is among less common effects.

Anaphylaxis and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis are life threatening side effects.

Consult your doctor in case of any problem.