1 What is Omniscan?

Brand: Omniscan

Generic: Gadodiamide

Omniscan is a contrast agent introduced into the bloodstream as an injection before MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). The contrast agents go to every part of the body and provide a clearer picture of the body in the MRI scan.

MRI is a procedure that gives you a picture of the inside of the body. MRI machine uses magnets and computer software to create accurate images of the body. This technique does not use radiations like x-rays.

Gadodiamide is one of the gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA) which is injected intravenously just before the scan. This helps the doctor in diagnosing pathologies in the brain, breast, spine and other parts of the body.

This medication can only be used under direct supervision of a doctor. This contrast agent is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Injectable solution

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Omniscan, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:


If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.

Age-specific problems:

The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group has not revealed any specific adverse effect on the children. Its safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 2 years of age. 

The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not demonstrated any adverse effect that would limit the use of this drug in old age group.


Regarding the safety of usage of this drug during pregnancy, it comes under “C” category, which means that clinical trials on animals have revealed harmful effects to the developing fetus or relevant studies have not been performed.

Drug Interactions:

Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together. So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug. 

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from especially:

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Omniscan requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. It is given as an injection into the veins, just before doing an MRI scan.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Omniscan, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Constant observation is necessary during and after the injection.

It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren’t any side effects from the medication. Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved even after taking the full course of treatment.

Gadodiamide can cause nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. Tell your doctor right away if you feel burning or itching of the skin, joint stiffness, a limited range of motion in the arms and legs, deep bone pain in the hips or ribs muscle weakness, or skin swelling, hardening, or tightening and red or dark patches on the skin of the arms or legs.

This medication may cause an allergic reaction which is called anaphylaxis. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any itching, rash, difficulty in breathing, cold clammy skin, lightheadedness, redness of skin etc.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Omniscan. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with following side effects:

  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • Agitation
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Change in consciousness
  • Changes in skin color
  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • Difficulty controlling your bladder or bowels
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Difficulty walking
  • Decreased urine output
  • Depression
  • Difficult or labored breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feeling of warmth or heat
  • Fainting
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling faint, dizzy, or lightheaded
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Feeling unusually cold
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Headache
  • Irregular breathing
  • A headache, severe and throbbing
  • Hives
  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Itching
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • Muscle twitching
  • Nausea
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, or face
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness and unsteady walk
  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech or problems swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash
  • Stupor
  • Swelling of the face, fingers, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Sudden sweating
  • Sweating
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Troubled breathing
  • Total body jerking
  • Trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Burning or itching of the skin
  • Weight gain
  • Wheezing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Limited range of motion in the arms and legs
  • Pain that is deep in the hip bone or ribs
  • Red or dark patches on the skin
  • Partial or slight paralysis
  • Skin swelling, hardening or tightening

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this medication. Also contact your health care professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug.

If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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