Barium Sulfate

Reviewed on 8/25/2022

What Is Barium Sulfate and How Does It Work?

Barium Sulfate is a contrast agent that works by coating the inside of your esophagus, stomach, or intestines which allows them to be seen more clearly on a CT scan or other radiologic (x-ray) examination.

  • Barium Sulfate is available under various brand names: Baricon, Barosperse, Bar-Test, Bear-E-Yum GI, Digibar 190, Enhancer, Entero VU, Esopho-Cat, E-Z AC, E-Z Dose Kit with Polibar Plus, E-Z Paste, E-Z-Cat, E-Z-Cat Dry, E-Z-Disk, E-Z-HD, E-Z-Paque, Liqui-Coat HD, Liquid Barosperse, Liquid E-Z Paque, Liquid Polibar, Liquid Polibar Plus, Maxibar, Medebar Plus, Medebar Super 250, NeulumEx, Readi-Cat 2, Scan C, Sitzmarks, Smoothie Readi-Cat 2, Sol-O-Pake, Tagitol V, Ultra R, Vanilla SilQ, Varibar Honey, Varibar Nectar, Varibar Pudding, Varibar Thin, Varibar Thin Honey, Volumen

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Barium Sulfate?

Common side effects of Barium Sulfate include:

  • mild stomach cramps;
  • nausea, vomiting; or
  • loose stools or mild constipation.

Serious side effects of Barium Sulfate include:

  • hives,
  • difficult breathing,
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • severe stomach pain;
  • severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, or constipation;
  • chest pain, trouble breathing or swallowing;
  • ringing in your ears;
  • sweating, confusion, fast heart rate; or
  • pale skin, blue-colored skin, weakness.

Rare side effects of Barium Sulfate include:

  • none

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors;
  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms include fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in the chest; shortness of breath; sudden dizziness, lightheartedness, or passing out.

This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems that may occur because of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

SLIDESHOW

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

What Are Dosages of the Barium Sulfate?

Adult and pediatric dosage

Cream, Oral, as sulfate:

  • E-Z-Paste: 60% (454 g [DSC]) [contains methylparaben, propylparaben, saccharin sodium]

Enema, Rectal, as sulfate:

  • E-Z-Dose: 105% (650 mL [DSC]) [contains saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate]

Packet, Oral, as sulfate:

  • E-Z-Cat Dry: 2% (50 ea [DSC]) [contains saccharin sodium]

Paste, Oral, as sulfate:

  • Varibar Pudding: 40% (230 mL [DSC]) [contains polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; vanilla flavor]

Suspension, Combination, as sulfate:

  • Liquid Polibar Plus: 105% (750 mL, 1900 mL [DSC]) [contains carrageenan, polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate]

Suspension, Oral, as sulfate:

  • Entero VU: 24% (600 mL [DSC]) [contains carrageenan, polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; blueberry flavor]
  • Liquid E-Z-Paque: 60% (355 mL) [contains polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate]
  • Liquid E-Z-Paque: 60% (355 mL [DSC]) [contains saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate]
  • NeuLumEX: 0.1% (450 mL) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; banana smoothie flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; berry flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; creamy vanilla flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; mochaccino flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; orange flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL [DSC]) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sorbitol; banana flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL [DSC]) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sorbitol; berry flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL [DSC]) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sorbitol; mochaccino flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL [DSC]) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sorbitol; vanilla flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2% (450 mL [DSC]) [contains saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sorbitol; orange flavor]
  • Readi-Cat 2: 2.1% (450 mL [DSC]) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate]
  • Tagitol V: 40% (60 mL) [contains saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; apple flavor]
  • Varibar Honey: 40% (250 mL [DSC]) [contains polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; apple flavor]
  • Varibar Nectar: 40% (240 mL) [contains polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate]
  • Varibar Nectar: 40% (240 mL [DSC]) [contains polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; apple flavor]
  • Varibar Thin Honey: 40% (250 mL [DSC]) [contains polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; apple flavor]
  • VoLumen: 0.1% (450 mL [DSC]) [contains benzoic acid, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate; blueberry flavor]

Suspension Reconstituted, Oral, as sulfate:

  • E-Z-HD: 98% (1 ea) [contains saccharin sodium]
  • E-Z-Paque: 96% (176 g [DSC]) [contains carrageenan, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, saccharin sodium]
  • Varibar Thin Liquid: 40% (148 g) [contains polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium]

Tablet, Oral, as sulfate:

  • E-Z-Disk: 700 mg [DSC]

Diagnostic aid

Adult dosage

  • You may need to begin taking oral Barium Sulfate at home, a day before your medical test. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
  • Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
  • Dissolve the powder in a small amount of water. Stir and drink this mixture right away. Add a little more water to the glass, swirl gently, and drink right away.
  • Shake the oral suspension (liquid to take by mouth) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows: 

  • See “Dosages”

What Other Drugs Interact with Barium Sulfate?

If your medical doctor is using this medicine to treat your pain, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

  • Barium Sulfate has no noted severe interactions with any other drugs.
  • Barium Sulfate has no noted serious interactions with any other drugs.
  • Barium Sulfate has no noted moderate interactions with any other drugs.
  • Barium Sulfate has no noted minor interactions with any other drugs.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker for any drug interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all your products. Keep a list of all your medications with you and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Barium Sulfate?

Contraindications

  • allergic to Barium Sulfate or another contrast agent
  • you recently had surgery, an injury, or a biopsy involving your stomach, esophagus, or intestines;
  • you recently had radiation treatment of your pelvic area;
  • you recently had a perforation (a hole or tear) in your esophagus, stomach, or intestines;
  • blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines);
  • you have stomach bleeding; or
  • you have poor blood flow to your intestines (ischemia).

Effects of drug abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Barium Sulfate?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Barium Sulfate?”

Cautions

  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about what to eat or drink within the 24-hour period before and after your test. Drink plenty of liquids to prevent constipation..

Pregnancy & Lactation

  • The radiation used in x-rays and CT scans may be harmful to an unborn baby. Before your medical test, tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
  • Lactation
    • Before your medical test, tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

QUESTION

About how much does an adult human brain weigh? See Answer
References
https://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-barium_sulfate_oral_and_rectal/article_em.htm

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