Barium sulfate (By mouth)


Barium (BAR-ee-um)

Used to help view images of the body during a medical test or imaging procedure.

Brand Name(s)

E-Z-Cat Dry, E-Z-Disk, E-Z-HD, E-Z-Paste, Entero VU, Liquid E-Z-Paque, Readi-Cat 2, Readi-Cat 2 Smoothie, Tagitol V, Varibar, Varibar Pudding, Volumen

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Cream, Liquid, Paste, Tablet

  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. You will swallow the barium liquid or paste just before your scan or procedure.
  • Drink plenty of liquids after the test to help clear the barium from your body and to keep you hydrated. Barium may cause severe constipation.
  • Follow all instructions you are given for your scan or procedure. Your doctor may tell you not to eat or drink anything the night before your test. Barium will work better if your stomach and bowels are empty.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have asthma, cancer, heart disease, trouble swallowing, an allergy to other contrast agents, or a history of fructose intolerance (genetic disease). Tell your doctor about any digestion problems, including bleeding, ulcer, blockage, narrowing, diverticulitis, or recent surgery, trauma, or radiation treatment on the hip area.
  • This medicine may cause constipation, which could be severe.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood
  • Fever, chills, cough, fast heartbeat, shallow breathing
  • Sudden, severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting with fever
  • Trouble swallowing

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/4/2017

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