Barium Sulfate (Diagnostic)
Before Having This Test
In deciding to use a diagnostic test, any risks of the test must be weighed
against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make.
Also, test results may be affected by other things. For barium sulfate, the
following should be considered:
Allergies - Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or
allergic reaction to barium sulfate. Also, tell your doctor if you are allergic
to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy - X-rays of the abdomen are usually not recommended
during pregnancy. This is to avoid exposing the fetus to radiation. Be sure
you have discussed this with your doctor.
Breast-feeding - Barium sulfate does not pass into the breast milk.
This medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children - Although there is no specific information comparing
use of barium sulfate in children with use in other age groups, this agent
is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than
it does in adults.
Older adults - This contrast agent has been used in older people
and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in them
than it does in younger adults.
Other medical problems - The presence of other medical problems may affect
the use of barium sulfate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any
other medical problems, especially:
Asthma, hay fever, or other allergies (history of) - If you have
a history of these conditions, the risk of having a reaction, such as an allergic
reaction to the additives in the barium sulfate preparation, is greater
Cystic fibrosis - The risk of blockage in the small bowel is
Dehydration - Barium sulfate may cause severe constipation
Intestinal blockage or perforation - Barium sulfate may make
this condition worse
Preparation for This Test
Your doctor may
have special instructions for you in preparation for your test. If you have
not received such instructions or if you do not understand them, check with
your doctor in advance.
For some tests your doctor may tell you not to eat after 8 the evening
before the test. You may be allowed to drink small amounts of clear liquids
until midnight; however, check first with your doctor. For other tests you
may need to eat meals free of fiber and bulk the day before the test. You
may also need to use a laxative.