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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) increase the risk for nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) among patients with impaired elimination of the drugs. Avoid use of GBCAs among these patients unless the diagnostic information is essential and not available with non-contrast MRI or other modalities. The GBCA-associated NSF risk appears highest for patients with chronic, severe kidney disease (GFR < 30 mL/min/1.73m²) as well as patients with acute kidney injury. The risk appears lower for patients with chronic, moderate kidney disease (GFR 30 - 59 mL/min/1.73m²) and little, if any, for patients with chronic, mild kidney disease (GFR 60 - 89 mL/min/1.73m²). NSF may result in fatal or debilitating fibrosis affecting the skin, muscle and internal organs. Report any diagnosis of NSF following DOTAREM administration to Guerbet LLC (1-877-729-6679) or FDA (1-800-FDA-1088 or

Screen patients for acute kidney injury and other conditions that may reduce renal function. Features of acute kidney injury consist of rapid (over hours to days) and usually reversible decrease in kidney function, commonly in the setting of surgery, severe infection, injury or drug-induced kidney toxicity. Serum creatinine levels and estimated GFR may not reliably assess renal function in the setting of acute kidney injury. For patients at risk for chronically reduced renal function (e.g., age > 60 years, diabetes mellitus or chronic hypertension), estimate the GFR through laboratory testing.

Among the factors that may increase the risk for NSF are repeated or higher than recommended doses of a GBCA and the degree of renal impairment at the time of exposure. Record the specific GBCA and the dose administered to a patient. For patients at highest risk for NSF, do not exceed the recommended DOTAREM dose and allow a sufficient period of time for elimination of the drug prior to re-administration. For patients receiving hemodialysis, physicians may consider the prompt initiation of hemodialysis following the administration of a GBCA in order to enhance the contrast agent's elimination. The usefulness of hemodialysis in the prevention of NSF is unknown [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported with DOTAREM, involving cardiovascular, respiratory, and/or cutaneous manifestations. Some patients experienced circulatory collapse and died. In most cases, initial symptoms occurred within minutes of DOTAREM administration and resolved with prompt emergency treatment [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

  • Before DOTAREM administration, assess all patients for any history of a reaction to contrast media, bronchial asthma and/or allergic disorders. These patients may have an increased risk for a hypersensitivity reaction to DOTAREM.
  • Administer DOTAREM only in situations where trained personnel and therapies are promptly available for the treatment of hypersensitivity reactions, including personnel trained in resuscitation.
  • During and following DOTAREM administration, observe patients for signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions.

Acute Kidney Injury

In patients with chronically reduced renal function, acute kidney injury requiring dialysis has occurred with the use of GBCAs. The risk of acute kidney injury may increase with increasing dose of the contrast agent; administer the lowest dose necessary for adequate imaging. Screen all patients for renal impairment by obtaining a history and/or laboratory tests. Consider follow-up renal function assessments for patients with a history of renal dysfunction.

Extravasation and Injection Site Reactions

Ensure catheter and venous patency before the injection of DOTAREM. Extravasation into tissues during DOTAREM administration may result in tissue irritation [see Nonclinical Toxicology].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of gadoterate meglumine.

Gadoterate meglumine did not demonstrate mutagenic potential in in vitro bacterial reverse mutation assays (Ames test) using Salmonella typhimurium, in an in vitro chromosome aberration assay in Chinese hamster ovary cells, in an in vitro gene mutation assay in Chinese hamster lung cells, nor in an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay.

No impairment of male or female fertility and reproductive performance was observed in rats after intravenous administration of gadoterate meglumine at the maximum tested dose of 10 mmol/kg/day (16 times the maximum human dose based on surface area), given during more than 9 weeks in males and more than 4 weeks in females. Sperm counts and sperm motility were not adversely affected by treatment with the drug.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

Risk Summary

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with DOTAREM conducted in pregnant women. Limited published human data on exposure to other GBCAs during pregnancy did not show adverse effects in exposed neonates. No effects on embryo fetal development were observed in rats or rabbits at doses up to 10 mmol/kg/day in rats or 3 mmol/kg/day in rabbits. The doses in rats and rabbits were respectively 16 and 10 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area. DOTAREM should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Human Data

While it is unknown if DOTAREM crosses the human placenta, other GBCAs do cross the placenta in humans and result in fetal exposure.

Animal Data

Reproductive and developmental toxicity studies were conducted with gadoterate meglumine in rats and rabbits. Gadoterate meglumine was administered intravenously in doses of 0, 2, 4 and 10 mmol/kg/day (or 3.2, 6.5 and 16.2 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area) to female rats for 14 days before mating throughout the mating period and until gestation day (GD) 17. Pregnant rabbits were intravenously administered gadoterate meglumine at the dose levels of 0, 1, 3 and 7 mmol/kg/day (or 3.3, 10 and 23 times the human doses based on body surface area) from GD6 to GD19. No effects on embryo fetal development were observed in rats or rabbits at doses up to 10 mmol/kg/day in rats or 3 mmol/kg/day in rabbits. Maternal toxicity was observed in rats at 10 mmol/kg/day (or 16 times the human dose based on body surface area) and in rabbits at 7 mmol/kg/day (23 times the human dose based on body surface area).

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether DOTAREM is excreted in human milk. Limited case reports on use of GBCAs in nursing mothers indicate that 0.01 to 0.04% of the maternal gadolinium dose is excreted in human breast milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, exercise caution when DOTAREM is administered to a nursing woman. Nonclinical data show that gadoterate meglumine is excreted into breast milk in very small amounts ( < 0.1% of the dose intravenously administered) and absorption via the gastrointestinal tract is poor.

Pediatric Use

The safety and efficacy of DOTAREM at a single dose of 0.1 mmol/kg have been established in pediatric patients from 2 to 17 years of age. No dosage adjustment according to age is necessary in this population [See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Clinical Studies]. The safety and efficacy of DOTAREM have not been established in pediatric patients below 2 years of age. GFR does not reach adult levels until 1 year of age [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Geriatric Use

In clinical studies of DOTAREM, 900 patients were 65 years of age and over, and 312 patients were 75 years of age and over. No overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. In general, use of DOTAREM in elderly patients should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of impaired renal function and concomitant disease or other drug therapy. No age-related dosage adjustment is necessary.

Renal Impairment

No DOTAREM dosage adjustment is recommended for patients with renal impairment. Gadoterate meglumine can be removed from the body by hemodialysis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/5/2013


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