MRI imaging drugs can be deadly

Posted Sep 10, 2010 by Amanda Tennis
The FDA warns that some injectable drugs that are used in MRI scans can be deadly to patients that have kidney disease. The drug can cause hardening of the skin and tissue around organs.
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Doctors have been warned recently that some injectable drugs involved with MRI scans can be deadly to patients that have kidney disease.
According to the FDA, there is going to be a warning label added to the agents that contain the chemical gadolinium that highlight risks for patients with kidney disease.
"These label changes are intended to help ensure these drugs are used appropriately," the FDA said in a posting to its website. The warning language will appear in a bolded box at the top of the drugs' labels.
The drug can cause a rare syndrome that leads to the patient’s skin and tissue in joints, eyes, and organs to harden. Currently, there is no treatment for this condition; however kidney transplants seem to have slowed the process or even reverse the effects of the drug.
According to CBS News,
While the nephrogenic syndrome has been reported with all seven drugs, the FDA said three have greater risks than the others: Bayer Healthcare's Magnevist, General Electric Healthcare's Omniscan and Covidien's Optimark. The FDA label stresses that these drugs should not be used in patients with kidney disease.
Gadolinium helps increase visibility during MRI scans and is already known to be toxic to the liver.
GE Healthcare said MRI contrast agents "continue to be a valuable diagnostic tool with a proven safety record for the overwhelming majority of patients to whom they are prescribed."
Bayer said it will cooperate with regulators and "will make periodic safety reports to the FDA and other regulators."