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Information on Barium Sulfate

Barium sulfate is sometimes prescribed by the doctor for thetreatment of several medical conditions but it can also be affiliated withcertain types of side effects. Barium sulfate is used in people who need tohave an x-ray or a CT scan of the gastrointestinal tract. Barium sulfate is oneof the medicaments which come from the group of radiopaque contrast media andit has to be consumed prior to x-rays or CT scans of the gastrointestinaltract. Those who need to have their stomach, esophagus and the small intestinescanned must administer barium sulfate in an oral manner.

People who need toscan their large intestine and the small intestine are commonly given thebarium sulfate in the form of an enema. Barium sulfate makes the internalorgans appear white in all the CT scan and x-ray reports so that they can bedistinguished properly and the doctor can diagnose all different types ofmedical conditions. Barium sulfate may be an integral part of a properdiagnosis of numerous different types of health problems but it can alsotrigger certain types of unwanted side effects in some cases.

What is Barium Sulfate?

Its chemical formula is BaSO4 and it contains barium whichis actually a metal. It is not dangerous because it cannot be absorbed by thehuman body. This is because it cannot be dissolved in liquids. Differentpatients require different dosage of barium sulfate. It is commonly taken up to2 hours before the actual CT scan or x-ray. The patient is usually not allowedto drink or eat anything for a few hours before the procedure. Barium sulfateshould always be taken in small doses.

Barium Sulfate Side Effects

Barium sulfate is absolutely safe, but there are alsocertain cases which involved the occurrence of some side effects. Bariumsulfate has a very unpleasant taste and some people may find it quiteunbearable. The problem is that it also leaves a strong aftertaste which isequally unpleasant and at times very hard to get rid of.

The most common sideeffect is constipation which is commonly accompanied by vomiting and nausea.Proper hydration usually solves the problem. Other side effects may includestomach cramps, hoarseness in the throat, weakness, agitation, sweating,confusion, itching, difficulty swallowing, hives, difficulty breathing and rednessof the skin. Some people have also experienced wheezing as a side effect ofbarium sulfate.

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