What should I expect during a test that uses IV contrast material?

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The experience of having an intravenous (IV) contrast material varies from person to person. Here's what you might expect:

1. The intravenous (IV). To inject the contrast, a needle will be placed in your vein. You'll feel a pinprick, no more painful than the average blood test.

2. Sensations during the injection. During the injection, you may experience:
  • a warm feeling through your body
  • a metallic taste in your mouth
  • a light-headed feeling
  • a cold feeling in the arm or leg where the injection was placed
  • a brief period of nausea or vomiting
  • itching or hives
Tell the healthcare provider performing the test if you experience any of these sensations. Usually they are minor and go away quickly. In very rare cases these side effects can be serious, so your healthcare providers will monitor you carefully.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.