CT contrast reaction

Has anyone ever had a reaction to CT contrast medium.

I had a CT scan last Thursday. The following day I noticed a pinprick like rash over both forearms. I dismissed it as 'seeing things'. I went about my daily business until night fall when I went to wash my hands in the bathroom. I saw in the mirror I had a rash all over my chest. On further investigation it was all over my body, sparing only hands, feet and face. It was even all over my back. Since then I have been itching all over. I called my doctor and she told me take phenergen, which I did. I have had short episodes of relief from zinc oxide powder. It is now driving me mad. Does anyone have any ideas on how to relieve this heat and prickly rash???

Pris

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Hi Pris,

Sorry you this effected you. You must have had the dye before but I do know that today we can be fine and tomorrow have an effect from something.

I have an issue with the glue on band aids, medical tape. Right now I am using a product from Melaleuca to help it heal and slow down the itching. I know they ship worldwide. If you are interested I can get it a little cheaper for you but you can go to their site. It is organic.

GN

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Hi Gone Natural,

Melaleuca is Tea Tree. This is native to Australia. I never thought of it. I may try it on a patch and see what happens.

I have contacted the radiologist by email. I need to find out what type of media it was so I can be prepared if I ever have to have it again. I will be avoiding it in future. It will probably have to be a life or death situation.

Pris

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I had a similar reaction to the tape/adhesive used for a Holter Monitor test. I took Benadryl for a couple of days and it was gone pretty quickly. It will probably take a little bit longer to get the dye worked through your system, but I would try taking some Benadryl.

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Hi Pris, sorry to read that you are having such a bad time of things. My mom had that happen and the dr gave her benedryl. After that she had to say she was allergic to the dye and didn't get it any more. I think they had some kind of dye she got after that which didn't have the same ingredient. I think it was nuclear which didn't sound too safe either but she did not react to it. Good luck hope it clears quickly.

I am allergic to motrin and get a rash. I took it 2 different times. I had not connected the rash to it the first time thinking it was a heat rash. But when I tried it a few months later the rash came back more extensively so now I have to report it as an allergy. Most drs tell me I could take motrin for the pain even when I wrote it as an allergy. Then they so oh then don't take it. I think, "Yeah, thanks, I won't". lol

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Hi Pris, Try soov- its a gel- very effective- works for sandflys,mites etc, so should be perfect, or tea-tree oil in sorbolene so you moisturise while getting relief.
Does sound like contact dermatitis though!!! If so test by bathing an area in cool water, if you get relief then calamine lotion is all you probably need.
Cheers

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I have an anaphylactic reaction to contrast...required IV epinephrine to stop a bad reaction years ago. Now whenever I have a CT (6 or 7 this past year and a half) I get loaded up with IV or oral benadryl and IV or PO steroids for 24 hours before the scan......and have had no problems. I hate how the benadryl makes me feel, but better safe than sorry.

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Hi Pris
I used to have reactions to the dye - acute nausea, plummeting B/P - so stopped allowing it. All my CT scans are now dyeless and they are fine - good enough to see what we need to see. The dye just gives the images that extra edge...

A radiographer told me there are two types of dye - one cheap and one expensive. The cheap one causes problems in very sensitive people, but being cheaper, they will use it unless otherwise instructed. Might be worth asking about that, too.

All the best, JLily

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Hi People,

JacobeanLily, Ozealan, jon-with-no-h, Pamk and Cisco611,

Thank you very much for all your suggestions. I hadn't had a reply from the radiology email as yet. However, I discovered my mum has to go to the podiatrist today at 1pm. The podiatrist is in the same building. I am going to go there and see them, show them the rash and find out the sort of media they have and see what they suggest to ease it. It is stingy and sore like chafing today. I guess I will have to say I am allergic from now on. I would be in big trouble if I have a more severe reaction and they have to give me epinephrine, cause that is the only other thing I am allergic to. I cannot have dental anasthetics because of it. I told the anaesthetist when I had my mediastinoscopy, but he still gave it too me and I was ill for three days after. So the very thing used to save life in anaphylactoid situations could kill me. Apparently it is an allergy common in people with sarcoid.

Pris

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Hi Pris,
I also had the rash you described although only on my body front & back not my arms or legs.
This happened 6 days after I had a ct scan with contrast. I went back to the the place I had it done and asked the radiographer if it was possible for this to happen so long after and their answer was not usually, it would normally happen pretty much right away. I did some research on the net and read that it is possible to have a reaction up to a week later.
This rash was very itchy. I went to my doctor and they told me to get antihistimines and gave me a script for prednisone which I didn't take.
I was flying to Perth the next morning to visit my daughter and was a bit reluctant to go as I didn't know what might happen next. I have to say the flight was not a comfortable one for 5 hours but the antihistamines did work and I was fine after a few days.
I now will be very aprehensive if it is suggested I need contrast again. I might add this was not the first time I have had contrast.
I hope by now you have found some relief.

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Hi Kykim,

You sound like an Aussie like ozealan, Krissy, Tawney and me.

I read the same as you on the net. I also like you went back to the radiologist yesterday. He also said it was unusual as the reactions usually happened pretty much on the spot. However, unlike yours, mine appeared within 24hrs. I had the CT about 1.30 pm and I first noticed the rash about 11.30 am the next day. It started itching at 10 pm, or thereabouts, that night and hasn't stopped since. My back is the worst.

The radiologist was very nice. He runs the practice. The receptionist went and got him right away, even though the place was packed to the rafters. He took me into a room where I showed him the rash which had become somewhat less red. He said it could be something else but we would have to assume that it was the contrast. I told him that I had not had contact with, eaten, drunk or taken anything out of the usual. He said that it was most likely the contrast and I would have to avoid it if possible in future, or if it was necessary to have a further test, he would suggest I had prednisone beforehand. He said he would reissue my report with the addendum that I had had a reaction to the contrast medium. He also said that I was doing all I could, zinc oxide powder, Diprosone ointment, Phenergen. He said it should clear in a couple of days. I have never been more uncomfortable in my skin since I had chicken pox at age 15!

Pris

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Hi, Pris.

My first CT was fine. The second wasn't -- I broke out in hives immediately afterward. We use iodine contrast here, and the doctor who examined the hives after the second CT said I've acquired an allergy to iodine contrast and need to ensure that I don't use it again since it could be fatal! AAR, I now have the allergy listed on my Med-alert along with sarc and CIDP.

It's interesting that I now also have an allergy to hair dye -- something else I've acquired since the second CT.

Deb

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Hi Deb,

Sorry to hear you have an immediate reaction. I guess the quicker it comes the more allergic you are. They say it is more rare to get a delayed response. Mine was within 24hrs. I guess I better add it to my med alert too!! Thanks.

Pris

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Hi Pris,
Yes I am an Aussie, I live a couple of hours north of Sydney.

I guess we have to assume that this was an allergy to the contrast as I also had not come into contact with anything different.
After that ct scan I had a mediastinoscopy which confirmed suspected sarcoidosis.
Before surgery I told them of my reaction and they asked whether I was allergic to betadine as it is also iodine based.
I am not allergic to it, I don't know what else is in the contrast.
I regularly read your posts, the information you put out there is very informative, especially the vit. d issues. Thanks for educating us all, I for one have never worked in the medical field so all information is gratefully accepted.
Hope you are not still itching, I understand exactly what you mean by being so uncomfortable in your own skin.

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Pris, You know we really don't know all the ingredients in these things they inject into our body. My point is this past flu shot I had a reaction to it. Never had before. I am also allergic to certain preservatives in eye drops. A nurse told me in an unrelated visit that some of the flu shots are made with a preservative and some are not. She told me the next time I go for a flu shop make sure there is no preservative in it. I didn't know this and I will definitely tell them next time. So it might be good to find out what was in the contrast they gave you and compare it to the contrast you have had with no reaction. I know you are a good researcher so it is up your ally. Anyway just a suggestion otherwise you figure you are allergic to all contrast and it might be a specific ingredient they could avoid. Sometimes using contrast in a scan is very helpful and can make a difference. Anyway just my two cents. Feel better.

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Hi Pam K,

I did try to find out what it was but they were not very forthcoming. I don't know whether it was an ionic or non ionic contrast. Contrast is not necessary, it is just that it sharpens things up. I will just avoid it altogether in future and if I have to have it I will take steroids prior to having anything. It will be a while before I have it done again. Here we are day six and I'm still scratching.
Pris

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Hello Pris,
I agree with Crisco611.
I had a similar all over rash when diagnosed with Sarc.
They got it to dissappear in the ER with Benadryl.
Take care,
- Sheryl (SP)

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Hi,

If I can get Benadryl over the counter I will try it,
Phenergan isn't helping much. It will be a week tomorrow and I still have it.

Pris

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Pris-

I had a CT with contrast, and had the steroids and
Benedryl beforehand. While I didn't break out as
I usually do, I broke out with a rash similair to what
you describe almost a week later. It was awful! Of has
Just now calmed down after several days! I am now
allergic to hair dye and iodine, too!

Bev

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Hi Bev,

Sorry to hear that. The Benadryl you have in the USA is not the same as the Benadryl cough linctus we have here in Australia. Chemists looked at me kinda queerly when I inquired about it. I got of look at what the chief ingredient of the linctus was and it did not correspond with the nonproprietry name of your Benadryl. They told me to take phenergan. It didn't help much. The radiologist I showed the rash to told me that I would have to take prednisone 50 mg the day prior to any future CT scan. The rash is a shocker. It lasted a good ten days or so. The first seven were very unpleasant. You must be very allergic if it has sensitized you to iodine.

Pris

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