Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 2/15/2022

What is Gastrografin and how is it used?

Gastrografin is a prescription medicine used as radiopaque contrast medium indicated for radiographic examination of segments of the gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, proximal small intestine, and colon). Gastrografin may be used alone or with other medications.

Gastrografin belongs to a class of drugs called Iodinated Contrast Media.

What are the possible side effects of Gastrografin?

Gastrografin may cause serious side effects including:

  • hives,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat,
  • blood in the urine,
  • convulsions,
  • cough,
  • little or no urine,
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • dizziness,
  • fast heartbeat,
  • itching,
  • rash,
  • pain or burning while urinating,
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue,
  • shortness of breath,
  • tightness in the chest, and
  • tiredness or weakness

Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

The most common side effects of Gastrografin include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • hives and redness,
  • low blood oxygen,
  • shortness of breath, and
  • fast heart rate

Tell the doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Gastrografin. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Gastrografin (Diatrizoate Meglumine and Diatrizoate Sodium Solution) is a palatable lemon-flavored water-soluble iodinated radiopaque contrast medium for oral or rectal administration only. Each mL contains 660 mg diatrizoate meglumine and 100 mg diatrizoate sodium; pH has been adjusted to 6.0 to 7.6 with sodium hydroxide. Each mL contains approximately 4.8 mg (0.21 mEq) sodium and 367 mg organically bound iodine. Inactive ingredients: edetate disodium, flavor, polysorbate 80, purified water, saccharin sodium, simethicone, and sodium citrate.

Diatrizoate meglumine is designated chemically as 1-deoxy-1-(methylamino)-D-glucitol 3,5- diacetamido-2,4,6-triiodo-benzoate (salt); diatrizoate sodium is monosodium 3, 5-diacetamido-2,4,6- triiodobenzoate. Structural formulas:

Diatrizoate Meglumine Structural Formula Illustration

iatrizoate Sodium Structural Formula Illustration