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You should be worried if you've undergone contrast imaging

In Dec. 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged how gadolinium, a metal often found in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast dye, can be detrimental to a patient's heath. The federal agency's realization led them to recommend that radiologists better educate patients about the dangers of using this substance and use alternatives.

When do physicians use contrast dye?

Doctors often administer the gadolinium-based dye to patients intravenously to aid them in seeing what's going inside their bodies during an MRI procedure.

While most individuals undergo a single MRI with contrast to help their doctor better diagnose their medical condition, patients with chronic illnesses often endure such imaging on a more consistent basis. The FDA contends that individuals exposed to gadolinium-based dye on a prolonged basis are most apt to experience health implications from it.

What are the side effects associated with gadolinium use?

The buildup or retention of gadolinium is what most concerns federal regulators. FDA officials recently discovered how the substance could remain in a patient's body for months or years post-MRI.

FDA officials note that they've long been aware of how this substance can cause some individuals suffering from kidney failure to develop a painful condition that results in their skin's thickening. Federal regulators only recently started receiving reports about how some patients who had undergone an MRI with contrast using gadolinium developed brain-related issues post-procedure, though.

A recent study of 4,500 patients who underwent such imaging didn't report any brain deficits following their MRIs. The researchers didn't discount the dangers associated with gadolinium, though. There have been countless lawsuits filed related to this substance in recent years. Many of the plaintiffs describe having difficulty with movement and experiencing pain, fatigue and burning sensations in the body post-imaging.

What you should do if you experienced a health decline post-MRI

Many of us trust pharmaceutical companies have thoroughly tested their products before they place them on the market. We expect manufacturers, regulators and doctors to let us know if they pose any dangers to make informed decisions about how to proceed. It's not uncommon for one of these parties to drop the ball in meeting their responsibilities along the way.

A pharmaceutical injury attorney can advise you on some dangerous drugs and help you hold anyone who failed to inform you of the dangers they posed accountable for their actions.

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