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Someone please email or comment or something and reassure me that
I am not going to die from having an IVP. :-)

My mother once had to take these weird dye tablets to have an xray of her gall bladder, and after the first one she turned beet red for a few hours. She was supposed to take more of those pills, but they told her not to lest her throat close off from the reaction.

I know that dye is required for an IVP (Intravenous Pyelography) and that that dye is similar to the dye that mum had a scary reaction to.

Is reaction to IV dye familial? Will they give me a test dose first? I suppose I could just call them up :-)

The kidney stone is still present and accounted for, although it has been quiet today. Tuesday was an awful day – had a follow up MD appt and kidney stone wanted to be there, so it started in on me around 8am. I took Vicodin all day long, which was probably a mistake, because then after I awoke from the Vicodin-induced coma, I was extremely nauseated. Even though I did not exceed the prescribed amount.

(Btw, GruntDoc – it was not difficult to take Vicodin while having pain. In fact, it was the only thing keeping me away from the ER. I did also have Toradol with both visits, which sadly did nothing. I had very high hopes for it.)

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You are not going to die from having an IVP.

you won’t dye (hee hee)

no really- it’s not familial, but let them know you’re nervous and they’ll get the benadryl and solumederol to have them ready if something DOES happen, and that might make you feel better.

i hope you’re feeling better soon!

Contrast media get safer and safer all the time. The risk of a contrast reaction these days is tiny. I wouldn’t worry.

Sorry it hasn’t passed yet. I have some platitudes, but they don’t mean much to someone chewing Vicodin for acute pain.

As far as the allergy, the oral contrast for an oral cholecystogra


and an IVP are different (IVP dye is non-ionic, which has greatly decreased its allergenicity).

Urologists are still enamored of IVP’s (they can read them without a radiologist, unlike the spiral CT of the abdomen), and they’re good tests as long as you’re sure the dx is ureteral stone; if there’s any doubt, the CT is better (I routinely get other diagnoses from them, but it’s in older folks).

Hang in there Geena, as this, too, shall pass.

(Sorry for the pun).


The WebMD link for an OCgram:

Well, I can’t see a reaction happening unless you’ve had IVP Dye before.
From what I understand, an allergy is something that is developed after at least one previous exposure to the irritant.
It took me three different times of wearing powdered latex gloves and an exposure to Baby Powder to discover that I have an allergy to the powder they use in latex exam gloves and baby powder.
Nothing serious mind you, just one HELL of a rash that developed, but again, it took three different exposures to get that huge reaction.
Hope everything turns out alright. And if you start to feel short of breath and such, tell the nurse.


Can a person have a stroke caused from hexabrix or iodine dye? I have never been allergic to fish of any kind. I did have a stroke for two days and almost died.

I had a reaction to an IVP My legs swelled up. I’m on antiinflamitory’s and water pills- – will it ever go away ??

Had an IVP and they missed the vein and injected into the tissue & muscle. Have had hearing loss and migraine’s since. Had MRI which showed a ring around the lining of the brain indicating meningitis. Had spinal tap which came back negative for menigitis. Also had hearing loss. After first audiogram it was 70% in one ear and 40% in the other. Have you ever heard of this type reaction before?

When I was 6 months pregnant w/ my first son, I had to have an IVP test done for bad kidney problems. BE AWARE! The doctor’s all said NO RISK- turns out I was severly allergic to the IVP dye! First the taste of metal, then it sounded like two great big fans were in my ears. Then I started vomiting and couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t see anything. My blood pressure shot way up and dropped to almost nothing. Then, I stopped breathing!!! What I thought was about 5 minutes getting me back was actually 2 1/2 hours! It was the scariest thing and I am so lucky we lived. I have to scream “IVP dye allergy!” and “Iodine allery!” every time I go to the hospital (they never pay attention and I always have to stop them from using iodine) and every time I eat out I have to carry an epi-pen with me because of the iodine in shellfish… even if someone else’s shellfish touched my food at all, that’s all it would take! Mind you, they didn’t even squirt the dye in me yet, just hooked it up to the IV… It was that serious. …and the doctors had said “NO RISK!”

The first time I ever had a CT Scan with IVP dye my face turned red, I started sneezing, and my ears started ringing at which point my blood pressure dropped and all I remember at that point were the nurses freaking out and administering shots in my arm. When I awoke much later on, in a hospital room, I found that my heart had stopped because of an allergic reaction to the ivp dye (iodine). I had eaten shellfish as a child and never had a reaction to iodine. Now I have to be very careful when ordering food that is it does not come into contact with any food containing iodince. I can use iodized salt but am very careful about the amount I use. I too carry an epipen.

i had a severe reaction many years ago to iodine dye.it was injected through my big toe and shot up my right leg.i could not breathe right away.i passed out and was told later that i could have died from my lowered blood pressure. even after they next used another dye for the testfor blood clots i felt a huge tightness and burning in my chest area.it was a nightmare. they did find a clot and i had to have surgery to net off to catch any clots if they traveled.i was 21 years old at the time .i am now 48…they told me birth control pills were the cause. women, please ask before going on any birth control pills,they can be deadly.

I’m allergic to IVP dye and may need a cardiac Cath…Can I still have one?

I had an IVP back in 1992 and had a severe allergy from it. Covered in hives all over my body and the itch was something terrible. It lasted for more than 36 hours. I just took antihistamines for it on my own.

red in face, felt heat over my face, big hives on me

red in face, felt heat over my face, big hives on me

red in face, felt heat over my face, big hives on me

had a severe reaction to IVP during a heart cath. Almost died. My face turned beet red, swelled to the size of a large ball. My eyes looked like ping-pong balls with tiny slits. My tongue,inside of mouth, right side of thoath were so swollen I could not speak. The swelling gradually subsided after a few days. What are the prognosis for health problems later? I was told that it may affect my kidneys. Professional advice please.

After a c-scan and being in the sun the next day my face broke out in large whelps. Are we supposed to keep out of the sun after having an iodine injection?

I had an IVP. I almost died. Shortly after injecting it My throat swelled up. My tougue swelled. I could hardly talk. I felt extremely cold and I tried telling them that. I was ignored. I was drooling. I was shaking uncontrollable. They x-ray guy kept hollering at me to STOP MOVING around as if I was shaking on purpose. I tried to brace myself to stop shaking but I was nearly convulsing. He kept yelling at me to “BE STILL”. I was trying to shout that I was “sooooo cold” but I could barley mumble. I don’t remember anything after that. I don’t know if they tried to save me or I just came out of it.
Later that day, while I was driving, I went through the same thing. Throat closing up. Cold. Shaking. I found out recently that IVP can cause a phasic reaction – one can experience symptoms again, later, with our adminstation of the IVP.
Ten years later they wanted to do another one on me. I explained what happened and was LAUGHED AT! They insisted that that couldn’t have happened! I refused the test.
Thank god for the internet. I’ve done some research and have proof that it wasn’t “all in my head” and I am glad that I refused the second test or I might not be here writing this now. They would have murdered me.

My husband had chest pains he was rushed to the hospital they took him from the emergency room, for some test. When he returned he was stiff and in shock the orderly thought he was sleeping. He had a reaction from Ivp dye, had told the nurse he itched when it was being injected and she did not stop. If I had not been there he would had died. I yelled at them and then the emergency room was in turmoil trying to revive him. He was later airlifed to another hospital for a heart cath. Could this had cause his heart to get worst? I am very concern as he was given a lot of drugs to conteract the allergy and shock.

My daughter had an IVP procedure and is having an allergic reaction. Extremly sick to her stomach and vomiting. Stomach pains have set in, probably from the vomiting.

a week and a half ago i had an allergic reaction to IVP dye and passed out but once they put in benedryl and soem other stuff i was fine… today tho i started feeling really weird and hot and i started sweating even though i am normally always freezing and then i started getting a buzzing in my ears just like i did the n, my heart started beating really fast and i started blacking out…i sat down on the ground because someone told me this helps…my head swam for a little while longer and then went back…is this related to the IVP dye and is it normal?

I had an IVP once and had anaphalactic shock. Once. Probably exposed to stuff in it in the past, but how would we know? Now know to avoid sulfa too, but the shock was truly scary and the x-ray lab was unprepared for it – yea! I felt weak and out of it for over a week afterwards.

my friends mom had a cardiac cath on friday, was given valium 10 mg. she is still out of it, pupils pinpoint, slurring words occasionally, slightly confused. goes into deep sleep without warning. HELP! we can’t get anyone to tell us what is wrong. dr. says to watch her, but it could be a stroke of some kind, Brain Stem?

my mother had IVP dye run in and the needle wasn’t in place and all the dye ran under her skin . she’s having all kinds of complications. severe pain, swelling. the surgeon told her to keep her arm elevated above her head for 2 wks. she had antibiotic shots in hosp. and will be on antibiotics for at least 2 more wks. has anyone else exp. this?

Today, I had a IVP with dye, they missed my vein and hit an artery as well as the dye going in the skin. My arm turned red immediately and I was in a lot of pain. The dr. came to check on me four times. They told me the pain should go away but, it would hurt all day. It still hurts me a lot. Any comments?

I am scheduled for an epidural injection of transforaminal for lower back pain. I read on “Spine Universe” website that “contrast dye” is injected to insure that the needle is properly positioned in the epidural space. I had an allergic reaction to IVP dye several years ago (difficulty breathing and hives). Is there danger to having “contrast dye” injected? Is that the same as IVP dye?

I just had an IVP today and experienced some of the same reactions as Marcia noted on May 3, 2006. Fortunately, I’d read a lot about the procedure and what to expect. Immediately after the injection, my throat started to swell, I couldn’t swallow and I became extremely cold. I told the technician at once and the drip was stopped, a nurse and radiologist arrived at put me on a saline/benadryl drip. I think they thought that because I’m not allergic to seafood and questioned the technician in advance about adverse reactions, my symptoms were imagined. I was glad to read Marcia’s posting to reassure myself that I wasn’t going crazy!!

I also had an IVP and the nurse missed the vein.I was in alot of pain right after she injected it.I swelled up but did not have any bad reactions…yet.only thing i noticed is it has been 3 days since this happened and now my other arm seems slightly swollen.

I had IVP dye before without a reaction. My reactions were not immeciately except I felt like a pop. My scalp, hands and feet exfoliated. It burnt my vocal cords, tongue, lung and gut. I had pneumonia for almost a month, drank only water and ginger ale for over 3 weeks, everything tasted like salt. I still do not have my voice back, 6 months latter and my feet now have vericose veins. One good thing. It burnt all my joints and I no longer have the pain from ostoarthritis. I also now have a gluten allergy. All this from IVP dye. Bet no one had a reaction like this. It’s horrible and the first thing the cardiologist said was he wants to do a cardiac cath with IVP dye–no thanks I wish to live a little longer.

I am having gallbladder trouble. I am allergic to red dye. Is there any other test that can be done (besides ct scan) w/o red dye for the gallbladder? I am allergic to MANY foods and sulpha. I dont believe that I will have the ct scan too risky.

I had IVP for kidney investigation… I nearly died. My heart stopped beating because of a reaction to the iodine and the doctor had to administer an emergency injection of adrenaline.

I had an IVP last week after my urologist found small traces of blood in my urine. I had the IVP at a hospital out-patient center. All went well, so I thought. Last night, one week after the IVP, I started feeling itchy. This morning I awoke with a widespred rash (hives) on my upper half. The dermatologist quickly linked it to the IVP dye. I have no other alleries other than hay fever, so this is new to me. I’m really suffering with the itchy feeling. It’s like having poison ivy. The MD gave me a handful of washes, creams and meds. I look like an over boiled lobster.

The Iodine Allergy Myth

Some people that have a history of allergy to shellfish, a history of a previous reaction to IV iodinated contrast, or a history of a reaction to a topical iodine solution, have been told that they have “iodine allergy.” This is actually not correct. “Iodine Allergy” doesn’t really exist. Iodine is a substance essential to life and is found throughout your body like within thyroid hormone or in amino acids, your body’s basic building blocks. The reactions experienced in each of these situations do not have to do with the presence of the iodine. Instead, in each case the reaction is to another substance. In the case of shellfish, the reaction is to tropomyosin, a muscle protein. In the case of iodinated contrast, it is the other portion of the contrast molecule, not the iodine. In the case of topical iodine solution, it is to other substances in the solution, not the iodine itself.

Shellfish allergy is not a contraindication to iodinated contrast because the allergy is entirely unrelated. This is a longstanding myth even within the medical community and is difficult to dispel. To some degree, asthma will increase the possibility of a contrast reaction. Sensitivity to Betadine? and other Iodine-containing solutions is unrelated to reactions to iodinated radiographic contrast agents.

From the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology:

Once a person has one contrast reaction they are at very high risk for more unless treated. The reactions do tend to be worse in people who are dehydrated (dried out) when they are given the contrast in their veins. These reactions are not caused by iodine and are not more common in people with shellfish or any other true allergy. They can be minimized by pretreatment with antihistamines and oral steroids and/or using non-ionic contrast material that, interestingly, still has iodine in it.

I just got out of the emergency room after having a IVP study today. As soon as they injected the dye everything got black when i woke it felt like someone was squeezing my chest really hard and i was still gasping for air…stayed in the er for 5 hours and really still feel awful…I would never ever have this test done again!!


In 1975 I had a severe reaction to IVP dye. Giant hives jumped up on my skin and I scratched like I was trying to skin myself. My face got red hot and the itching was like a bath in fiberglass slivers.

But, thank Heaven it only lasted 3 minutes. I was out of danger before the doctor even showed up and never had another problem. It was the closest I’ve ever come to crossing the River Styx and very scary.

The only other thing causing a similar reaction was my last infusion of Remicade. The Benedryl stopped the BP spike but after three tries it was obvious to the rheumatologist that my days in her infusion room were finished.

And, now I wonder, could I (or should I) have a nonionic dye-IVP or CT if it were medically necessary?

I have to have CT with dye because of heart problem…possible heart problem. I was allergic to IVP. What should I do? Barbara

Allergic reactions to IVP contrast Injections are very real and many have died from anaphylactic shock, when their throat closed from swelling. Without an air supply you will pass out, then the heart stops and you die. Would you want a loved one to die just to get some pictures? Hospital are totally unprepared to save you, especially if they ignored previous allergic reactions and are not prepared to deal with the present one. Avoid the contrast and be safe and alive. Optipray, is a contrast injection with a deadly result, so is a radiology department who does not have procedures to evaluate the risks to protect patients from harm and have the life saving injection needed to save your life and counteract an oncoming allergic reaction. Not premeditating a patient is a deadly mix. Ignoring a patients response to an allergic reaction is ignorance and negligence.

Our mother had a Cat Scan done in Englewood, New Jersey and died as a result.

Please avoid the contrast to begin with or at least get premeditated, which needs to be done in advance and prior to the day of the exam and make sure that they have the injection to counteract the allergic reaction to save you right there in the room and someone with you to inject you to counter act against anaphylactic shock and death and a medical team right outside your room to intervene and save your life, in case you feel anything that might be a response to the injection. Anaphylactic shock happens quickly and there will be no time to wait for a team to arrive, once they identify that you are allergic to the contrast and in shock. The team needs to be there ready to save your life. They need to recognize you are in trouble and act quickly or you will be dead in minutes. Nothing will save you then! Don’t rely on yourself, since you will pass out once your throat closes and will choke to death from lack of air to your brain, lungs, and heart. You will go into cardiac arrest and your breathing will stop, you will be dead once the team arrives to try and save you, if they are not right there outside your door! So please plan ahead!!! Make them do the scan safely and correctly for your life and safety!!! Once your tongue swells and your throat closes, you will not be able to speak up for yourself. Speak up now, before they give you an injection that could end your life!!! Make them do it right!!! Make them do it SAFELY!!! You are the most important person in the world and you will be missed by your family and friends if something should ever happen to you!!! YOU are so very important and so very loved!

They ignored our mother when she told them she was allergic and she died as a result!!!

In memory of Rose Gioia, our beloved mother!


added by Rose Gioia’s Family on 11.06.09 8:02 am | Permalink

Hello, All I can add to this is I was in a bad car accident and ER staff was starting to do a CAT scan on me. She had no more than put the ivp in my iv and I got VERY sick. My blood pressure shot up and my eyes started rolling up in my head, I could hear them saying “CODE —–”something and remember the ER doctor running in and jerking the thing out of my arm. The nurse was white as a sheet. I heard the doc saying ivp allergy. After that they never mentioned anything else to me I don’t know if I would have died or just gone into unconsciousness, coma or what. Later they said you didn’t tell us you were allergic! I said that’s because I didn’t know. duh anyway, I was even thinking of getting a medic alert bracelet or something. How dangerous can this be? I don’t know. thanks – D. Jordan


This is very dangerous for you! You should stay way from contrast. Perhaps premedication prior to the exam might help, but I would check on this first and really try to avoid the contrast altogether. You could die from anaphylactic shock in seconds.

I went into anaphalactic shock at a CT scan place not at a hospital at all that good that place know what to do when i do to the hospital it was worse i couldnt breath and flat lined not once but twice and a week in ICU and i tell u what i will never have contrast in my boby what so ever even pre medicated cant tell me that will work and not going to find out either i lost my life twice that day and i wont again from contrast…….. to u all that will never i wear a I.D neckless saying no contrast at allllllll…..

omg….. i am so sick of hearing the medical community claiming oh, you won’t have trouble with the dye, even after you tell them about a previous allergy. I then had been premedicated with steroids and benedryl and still got hives! What do we have to do wear a medication allergy band around our head? Seems to me that they should be reading these posts instead of living with their heads in the sand!

It is so sad and so shameful that hospitals and radiology staff do not advocate patient safety with these procedures.

I guess they are more fascinated by the extra money they charge, when it is done with contrast. Shame on them!

I guess they would rather have a lawsuit, than protect their patients.




I had IVP Dye one day ago, Last night I started having chills, I was freezing. I then started having a ringing in my ears and became hot, and sick to my stomach. My head was pounding and I could not stand up or think straight. It finally subsided after 2 hours. My wife had called the ambulance. They side it sounded like I had came down with the flu. It was a reaction not the flu. I choose not to go with the ambulance, they did not have a clue.

Given IVP Dye for kidney scan. Medic kept asking if I was feeling warm. The opposite, ina few moments I was freezing.
Body jumping all over the table.Medics had terrible time steadying other arm enough to administer antidote. I could have died right there. Data I signed before hand said 1 in 50 thousand allergic. Nurse since said the number larger now…great consolation. Later with IVP Allergy on front of my chart a Urologist sent me for scan…I stopped Medic as he was about to stick me when body was already half way into the tube. DO NOT TRUST THE MEDICAL PROFESSION TO KEEP YOU ALIVE !! Hospitals: DANGER!!! Stay away if possible!

My strong belief in the fatal danger in hospitals turned me to Alternative Medicine over 25 years ago. So today I am a 85 year old Health Nut…and quite happy about it. E-mail me if you want to chat about Alternative health, herbal supplements, etc and methods.

I don’t care what any one says about the iodine allery or what ever is in it not being familiary. Several members of my family react severely to these tests

I also need some sort of test for possible nephroptosis (floating kidney) any body got any suggestions?

Get yourself a lawyer!

Hospital employees try to cover up their mistakes or deny them!

A lawyer will get the medical records! Reocrds that the hospital staff may not give to you!

Allergic to IVP dye, broke out in hives (that was 19 yrs ago) Now I have to pre medicate with steroids as well as benedryl. Had 3D scan today, pre medicated for it 12 hrs and 2 hrs before test. Started itching, short of breath so they called for a benadryl shot. Right after the injection of benedryl got extremely dizzy, throat closed, severe headache, nausea,as well as swelling of lips and tongue, high blood pressure and chills. They called for code and I was rushed to the ER where I was given more benedryl as well as Zantac. Was there for 4 hrs and was able to finally go home. Just letting you know that even if you premedicate you can still have a reaction.

my brother died from ivp dye he was allergic but was given the dye anyway.chart was flagged with the allergy.my advice….never ever let them inject dye into your body.its too dangerous….drs are arrogant and make their own decisions and when a loved one dies,they just lie about it


So sorry for your loss.

My prayers are with you and your family.



I hope that you and your family got yourself a good attorney.

What area are you from?



An attorney will obtain all medical records. If the records show that his file was flagged and he had an allergy, then they must answer for their mistakes.


I have a severe allergy reaction to the IVP dye about 10 years ago. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks… purple rash from neck to toes, it looked like a massive bruise and my blood pressure dropped dangerously low. The itching was painful, more like arrows shooting out of my body. I discharged myself and drove to see a dermatologist who immediately told me I was having a chemical reaction to the dye. I could have died and I was used as a practice target for the medical community, several doctors and specialists visited me when I was hospitalized to document and analyze my reaction but offered no solution.

50 years ago I took gallbladder dye capsules had a very bad reaction went into convulsions was told not to ever let anybody use dye on me again as could be fatal heart dr wants me to have a nuclear stress test is this safe for me

So, what brought you to the hospital today?

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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