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CT Scan contrast

srwruns's picture
Posts: 343
Joined: Oct 2010

Scheduled for my first post chemo CT scan tomorrow. I am told I will be getting IV contrast plus I have to drink some. Previously I only had IV contrast. Can anyone tell me what to expect with the drinking contrast? Is it difficult to get down and/or nauseating? Thanks, Susan

poopergirl14052's picture
Posts: 1185
Joined: Nov 2010

so I had a hard time getting it down since I hate milk. It was ice cold with a cherry flavor. Good luck having your scan and hope you are NED!!!

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2011

I was given solution to mix with any kind of juice. I mixed mine with cranberry juice. Actually, quite tasty! Good luck and God bless!

anicca's picture
Posts: 335
Joined: Dec 2010

I've been through that 3 times now, once not for cancer, but it was the same stuff every time. It is milky, slightly chalky, but not terribly so. It didn't nauseate me, and the first time, I was sick and couldn't eat, but I got that stuff down. You get an hour to drink it, so you can sip, which helps. If you've ever had a colonoscopy, it's a lot easier to drink than than the purgatives.

Hoping your CT scan shows you are dancing with NED!

kikz's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: Jun 2010

I have had several ct scans and I always had to drink a banana-flavored thick white liquid. One the night before and one the day of. My cousin suggested to drink half, wait a half hour and drink the other half. This did help. It's funny, I always say I like bananas but don't like banana-flavored things. Wouldn't you know that is the flavor I would get. Once in the ER I was having a ct scan and had to drink what looked like water but was bitter. It was a large container. I asked the nurse, how long do I have to drink this, a couple of days. She laughed and said, no as fast as you can. I have a hard time with water as well. Good luck.


Posts: 272
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi, I've had many CT scans and up until last year, I only had the oral contrast. The contrast wasn't that bad, it's better if you drink it chilled. The place I went previously to let me pick it up the day before, I refrigerated it and drank it the next day. I had a berry flavor, there was also some type of an orange flavor, which I wouldn't suggest, if you're given a choice. The only side effect I had with this oral contrast was that I went to the bathroom (loose bowel movements) soon after drinking it.

The next place I go to has an oral contrast with crystal lite. That's not bad tasting, and goes down pretty easy, it's almost like drinking a non sugar lemonade type drink. That didn't give me any side effects at all.

I still also get the IV contrast. Good luck tomorrow and hope everything turns out great for you.

pattysoo's picture
Posts: 172
Joined: Oct 2010

I have had this 3 times. I was offered several flavor choices, and it really matters which I choose b/c it's difficult to get this stuff down. So, a mocha flavor worked best for me. I take a deep breath and swallow big gulps. It helps that it's chilled. I've never been able to get all of the 2nd liter down, but the tech seemed satisfied with the quantity I drank. Also, I learned from these boards that afterward one should drink copious amounts of water to eliminate this stuff from your system, and if possible, try not to expose anyone else (ie. your own toilet would be good, or flush early, flush often.)

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Since 1999 I have had my CT scans with triple contrast - oral, IV AND enema. Anyway, in the beginning, they were giving me this orange stuff to drink (3 glasses), something like Tang. Tolerable, but not enjoyable for sure. Three years ago they changed to a white, thick contrast (1 glass only), that has a 'spicy' kind of taste to me. Anyway, I need to drink it within 45 minutes. I usually get it done in 20, then suck on an Altoid to get rid of that left-over taste. Again, tolerable, but I sure don't enjoy it.


srwruns's picture
Posts: 343
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you everyone for the info. Turns out when I got there all they did was the IV contrast. That was fine with me since I still have yuk taste in my mouth since my chemo last Friday. Now the wait on the results!!!...I get on the 25th. Tick Tock anxiety clock.

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