Some of the views expressed in the following notes on newly approved products should be regarded as preliminary, as there may have been limited published data at the time of publication, and little experience in Australia of their safety or efficacy. However, the Editorial Executive Committee believes that comments made in good faith at an early stage may still be of value. Before new drugs are prescribed, the Committee believes it is important that more detailed information is obtained from the manufacturer's approved product information, a drug information centre or some other appropriate source.
Omniscan (Winthrop Laboratories)
287 mg/mL in 10 mL, 15 mL and 20 mL vials
Indication: MRI scanning
The value of magnetic resonance imaging may be enhanced by the use of contrast media. A commonly used contrast medium is gadopentetate which is an ionic molecule. Gadodiamide is a gadolinium complex which is non-ionic, but it remains to be seen if this is an advantage.
Gadodiamide is given intravenously to enhance images of intracranial and spinal lesions where there is abnormal vascularity or an abnormal blood-brain barrier. The complex does not cross an intact blood-brain barrier so only accumulates in lesions such as neoplasms and abscesses.
The most frequent adverse effects are nausea, headache and dizziness. It is not known if repeated exposures are safe.