Gadolinium Side Effects

Retention of gadolinium following an MRI may result in serious side effects, including gadolinium toxicity and Gadolinium Deposition Disease.

Free Legal Reviews for the Victims of Gadolinium Side Effects

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free legal reviews to individuals who may have suffered serious gadolinium side effects following an MRI, including:

  • Intense burning of the skin and skin substrate
  • Intense boring pain in bones or joints
  • Brain fog or mental confusion
  • Muscle vibrations, pins and needles sensation
  • Headache
  • Thickening, discoloration, pain in the skin or skin substrate of the distal arms and legs

These side effects may be symptoms of gadolinium toxicity or Gadolinium Deposition Disease, permanent disorders that allegedly result from gadolinium deposits that remain in the body weeks, months and years after an MRI.

To learn if you might be eligible to file a gadolinium side effects lawsuit, please call our office at (888) 994-5118.

What is Gadolinium?

Gadolinium is a rare earth, heavy metal that is used in many MRI contrast dye agents to enhance the images that show up on a scan.

There are currently eight gadolinium-based MRI dyes approved for use in the United States:

  • Dotarem
  • Eovist
  • Gadavist
  • Magnevist
  • Multihance
  • Ominiscan
  • Optimark
  • Prohance

These drugs are injected into a vein just before an MRI. They are supposed to be eliminated from the body via the kidneys shortly after the procedure. But recent studies have raised concerns that gadolinium deposits may remain in the brain and other organs long after a patient has undergone an MRI.

FDA Warning for Gadolinium Retention

Until recently, the only known gadolinium side effect was a debilitating condition called NSF, or nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, which only occurs in patients with pre-existing kidney failure. In 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) directed the manufacturers of gadolinium-based MRI contrast dyes to update their product labels in order to mitigate this risk.

In December 2017,  the FDA issued a class warning for gadolinium contrast dyes, amid growing concern that gadolinium deposits could remain in patients’ bodies, including the brain, for months to years after receiving these drugs.

“We have also received reports of adverse events involving multiple organ systems in patients with normal kidney function,” the FDA noted in its alert.  “A causal association between these adverse events and gadolinium retention could not be established.”

The FDA ordered the makers of MRI contrast dies to conduct new studies to better assess the potential for gadolinium side effects. The agency also required a new patient Medication Guide, providing educational information that every patient will be asked to read before receiving. Those guides were approved in May 2018.

Finally, the FDA ordered that the labels for all gadolinium MRI contrast dyes be modified to include information about gadolinium retention.

Who is Most at Risk for Gadolinium Side Effects?

According to the FDA, gadolinium contrast dyes known as linear agents –  Eovist, Magnavist, MultiHance, Omniscan, and Optimark – result in more retention and retention for a longer time compared to macrocyclic agents like Dotarem, Gadavist, and ProHance.

Patients most at risk for gadolinium retention include:

  • Those requiring multiple lifetime doses
  • Pregnant women
  • Children
  • Patients with inflammatory conditions

While doctors should not avoid using gadolinium agents or defer MRIs for these patients, the FDA has advised that they minimize repeated gadolinium MRIs when possible, particularly closely spaced scans.

What Should Patients Do?

The FDA has advised patients to carefully read the new patient Medication Guide they are given prior to receiving a gadolinium MRI contrast agent dye.

Patients should also tell their health care professional about all their medical conditions, including:

  • If they are pregnant or think you might be pregnant
  • The date of their last MRI with gadolinium and if they have had repeat scans with gadolinium
  • If they have kidney problems

Learn More About Filing a Gadolinium Side Effects Lawsuit

Victims of gadolinium MRI side effects may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • More

To learn more about filing a gadolinium side effects lawsuit, please contact our office today by calling (888) 994-5118.

  1. Inside Radiology (2013) “Gadolinium Contrast Medium (MRI Contrast agents)” http://www.insideradiology.com.au/pages/view.php?T_id=38#.VhZ18St1yUQ
  2. Radiology Info (2013) “Contrast aterials” http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=safety-contrast
  3. FDA (2010) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: New warnings for using gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with kidney dysfunction” http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm223966.htm#aihp
  4. FDA (July 2015) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA evaluating the risk of brain deposits with repeated use of gadolinium-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)” http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm455386.htm
  5. FDA (December 2018) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns that gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) are retained in the body; requires new class warnings” https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm589213.htm
Last Modified: May 31, 2018

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