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This page contains information on Buscopan which is a drug used in some MRI and CT scans. Further information about Buscopan is available in the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet – please ask us if you would like a copy.
What is Buscopan?
Buscopan is a common drug that inhibits nerve impulses. This inhibits smooth muscle contraction which helps your bowel to relax. This allows your abdominal/pelvic area to have less contractions/movement when the scan is taking place. If you are required to have Buscopan, a radiologist will discuss with you.
You can also call and speak to a radiographer before your scan on 0207 467 4317.
Asking for consent
The radiographer will ask you if you are happy for the injection to go ahead (verbal consent). If you do not wish to have the injection or are undecided, please tell the radiographer. It is your decision and you can change your mind at any time. Please remember to ask the radiographer any questions you have at any time.
How is it given?
Buscopan is injected into one of your veins via a needle or a cannula (a soft, thin plastic tube) before or during your scan. The cannula is inserted through your skin into a vein using a needle. Once the cannula is in place the needle is removed, leaving the small, thin plastic tube in the blood vessel. This should be comfortable and will only be in place until your scan is finished.
Are there any side effects?
Buscopan is not suitable for everybody. The radiographer or radiologist will decide if it is appropriate for you. The most common side effects are dry mouth, dizziness, blurred vision and an increased heart rate. These only last for about 30-45 minutes and will be over by the time you leave the department. More severe effects are eye pain/redness, tachycardia, hypotension anaphylaxis. These are uncommon, but can occur. If you experience any of these side effects while you are at the hospital, we have teams and medication that will help.
Serious allergic reactions are rare, however please seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following after leaving the hospital:
• Swelling of the face, mouth, hands, feet or throat
• Difficulty breathing or swallowing
• Eye irritation
• Rash/hives/itchy red skin
Please contact the Imaging team about any general concerns on 0207 467 4317. However, if you experience any symptoms of concern please contact your GP or go to your local Emergency Department (A&E).
Your comments and concerns
If you have any questions or concerns about your medicines, please speak to the staff caring for you. For support or advice please speak to your consultant or the Imaging department on 0207 467 4317.
Language and accessible support services
If you need an interpreter or information about your care in a different language or format, please get in touch.