Liquid E-Z-PAQUE

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 4/4/2022
Drug Description

What is Liquid E-Z-PAQUE and how is it used?

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE is a prescription medicine used as a diagnostic agent for radiographic examinations of the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel. Liquid E-Z-PAQUE may be used alone or with other medications.

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE belongs to a class of drugs called Non-iodinated Contrast Media.

What are the possible side effects of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE?

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE may cause serious side effects including:

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

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

The most common side effects of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE include:

  • mild stomach cramps,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • loose stools, and
  • mild constipation

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 Liquid E-Z-PAQUE. 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.


Liquid E-Z-PAQUE (barium sulfate) is a radiographic contrast agent supplied as a white to lightly colored barium sulfate suspension (60%w/v) for oral administration. The active ingredient barium sulfate is designated chemically as BaSO4 with a molecular weight of 233.4 g/mol, a density of 4.5 g/cm³, and the following chemical structure:

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE (barium sulfate) Structural Formula Illustration

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE contains the following excipients: carboxymethyl cellulose sodium, citric acid, natural and artificial strawberry lemon cream flavor, polysorbate 80, potassium sorbate, purified water, saccharin sodium, simethicone emulsion, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, sorbitol solution, xanthan gum.

Indications & Dosage


Liquid E-Z-PAQUE is indicated for use in single contrast radiographic examinations of the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel to visualize the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in adult and pediatric patients.


Recommended Dosage

The optimal oral dose of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE will vary depending on the size and anatomy of the patient and the procedure being performed. The recommended oral dose of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE:

  • Adults: 150 to 750 mL (87 g to 435 g of barium sulfate, respectively). Volumes closer to 150 mL are recommended for examination of the esophagus and stomach and volumes up to 750 mL are recommended for examination of the small bowel
  • Pediatric Patients: Adjust dose based on GI volume
    • For examinations of the upper GI tract, administer a volume sufficient to fully distend the esophagus or stomach.
    • For small bowel examinations:
      • Age birth to less than 2 years: 30 mL to 75 mL
      • Age 2 years to less than 17 years: 75 mL to 480 mL

Administration Instructions

  • For oral use only
  • Shake bottle vigorously for 30 seconds prior to oral administration to fully suspend product
  • Administer undiluted
  • Ensure patients have nothing by mouth for the following time period prior to the examination:
    • Neonates and Infants < 3 months 2 hours
    • Infants 3-12 months 3 hours
    • > 12 months of age 4 hours
  • Discard any unused suspension
  • Encourage patients to maintain hydration following the barium sulfate procedure


Dosage Forms And Strengths

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE oral suspension: 213 grams of barium sulfate supplied as a suspension (60 % w/v) in a single-dose bottle.

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE (barium sulfate) is a suspension (60% w/v) supplied as a unit dose in a single use HDPE plastic bottle containing 213 grams of barium sulfate in 355 mL.

Provided as: 24 x 355 mL `bottles (NDC 32909-186-02).

Storage And Handling

Store at USP controlled room temperature 20 to 25°C (68 to 77° F). Protect from freezing.

Manufactured for : Bracco Diagnostics Inc. Monroe Township, NJ 08831 by EZEM Canada Inc Anjou (Quebec) Canada H1J 2Z4. Revised: Mar 2017


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Side Effects & Drug Interactions


The following adverse reactions have been identified from spontaneous reporting or clinical studies of barium sulfate administered orally. Because the reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or to establish a causal relationship to drug exposure:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping
  • Serious adverse reactions and fatalities include aspiration pneumonitis, barium sulfate impaction, intestinal perforation with consequent peritonitis and granuloma formation, vasovagal and syncopal episodes


No information provided.

Warnings & Precautions


Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Hypersensitivity Reactions

Barium sulfate preparations contain a number of excipients, including natural and artificial flavors and may induce serious hypersensitivity reactions. The manifestations include hypotension, bronchospasm and other respiratory impairments, dermal reactions including rashes, urticaria and itching. A history of bronchial asthma, atopy or a previous reaction to a contrast agent may increase the risk for hypersensitivity reactions. Emergency equipment and trained personnel should be immediately available for treatment of a hypersensitivity reaction.

Intra-abdominal Barium Leakage

The use of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE is contraindicated in patients at high risk of perforation of the GI tract [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Administration of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE may result in leakage of barium from the GI tract in the presence of conditions such as carcinomas, GI fistula, inflammatory bowel disease, gastric or duodenal ulcer, appendicitis, diverticulitis, and in patients with a severe stenosis at any level of the GI tract, especially distal to the stomach. Barium leakage has been associated with peritonitis and granuloma formation.

Delayed Gastrointestinal Transit And Obstruction

Orally administered barium sulfate may accumulate proximal to a constricting lesion of the colon, causing obstruction or impaction with development of baroliths (inspissated barium associated with feces) and may cause abdominal pain, appendicitis, bowel obstruction, or rarely perforation. Patients with the following conditions are at higher risk for developing obstruction or baroliths: severe stenosis at any level of the GI tract, impaired GI motility, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, on a low residue diet, on medications that delay GI motility, constipation, cystic fibrosis or Hirschsprung disease, and the elderly [see Use in Specific Populations]. To reduce the risk of delayed GI transit and obstruction, patients should maintain adequate hydration following a barium sulfate procedure.

Aspiration Pneumonitis

The use of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE is contraindicated in patients at high risk of aspiration [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Oral administration of barium is associated with aspiration pneumonitis, especially in patients with a history of food aspiration or with compromised swallowing mechanism. Vomiting following oral administration of barium sulfate may lead to aspiration pneumonitis. In patients at risk for aspiration, begin the procedure with a small ingested volume of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE. Discontinue administration of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE immediately if aspiration is suspected.

Systemic Embolization

Barium sulfate products may occasionally intravasate into the venous drainage of the large bowel and enter the circulation as a “barium embolus” leading to potentially fatal complications which include systemic and pulmonary embolism, disseminated intravascular coagulation, septicemia and prolonged severe hypotension. Although this complication is exceedingly uncommon after oral administration of barium sulfate suspension, monitor patients for potential intravasation when administering barium sulfate.

Risk With Hereditary Fructose Intolerance

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE contains sorbitol which may cause severe symptoms if ingested by patients with hereditary fructose intolerance. Severe symptoms may include the following: vomiting, hypoglycemia, jaundice, hemorrhage, hepatomegaly, hyperuricemia, and kidney failure. Before administration of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE assess patients for a history of hereditary fructose intolerance and avoid use in these patients.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

No animal studies have been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of barium sulfate or potential effects on fertility.

Use In Specific Populations


Risk Summary

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE is not absorbed systemically following oral administration, and maternal use is not expected to result in fetal exposure to the drug [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].


Risk Summary

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE is not absorbed systemically by the mother following oral administration, and breastfeeding is not expected to result in exposure of the infant to Liquid E-Z-PAQUE [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Pediatric Use

The efficacy of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE in pediatric patients from birth to less than 17 years of age is based on successful opacification of the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel during single contrast radiographic procedures [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Safety and dosing recommendations in pediatric patients are based on clinical experience [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Liquid E-Z-PAQUE is contraindicated in pediatric patients with tracheo-esophageal fistula. [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Pediatric patients with a history of asthma or food allergies may be at increased risk for development of hypersensitivity reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Monitor pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis or Hirschsprung disease for bowel obstruction after use [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE do not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Overdosage & Contraindications


No information provided.


Liquid E-Z-PAQUE is contraindicated in patients with the following conditions:

  • known or suspected perforation of the GI tract
  • known obstruction of the GI tract
  • high risk of GI perforation such as those with a recent GI perforation, acute GI hemorrhage or ischemia, toxic megacolon, severe ileus, post GI surgery or biopsy, acute GI injury or burn, or recent radiotherapy to the pelvis
  • high risk of aspiration such as those with prior aspiration, tracheo-esophageal fistula, or obtundation
  • known severe hypersensitivity to barium sulfate or any of the excipients of Liquid E-Z-PAQUE
Clinical Pharmacology


Mechanism Of Action

Due to its high atomic number, barium (the active ingredient in Liquid E-Z-PAQUE) is opaque to x-rays and therefore acts as a positive contrast agent for radiographic studies.


Under physiological conditions, barium sulfate passes through the gastrointestinal tract in an unchanged form and is absorbed only in pharmacologically insignificant amounts.

Medication Guide


After administration advise patients to:

  • Maintain adequate hydration
  • Seek medical attention for worsening of constipation or slow gastrointestinal passage
  • Seek medical attention for any delayed onset of hypersensitivity, such as: rash, urticaria, or respiratory difficulty
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