|MadSci Network: Medicine|
First, one needs to be aware that as with ANY drug, there could be side effects that range from very mild to quite severe. Each and every person is different and what may not affect a large number of individuals may affect one single person. Also, too, one must consider that in time you could eventually develop a sensitivity to any compound - even if it never bothered you before. But back to our topic. In light of much research and testing with gadolinium in MRI studies, there have been very few reported cases of severe side affects from using this "contrast" element. There was a previous contrast substance used which was based off shellfish compounds. Many indviduals have reported sensitivities or allergies to shellfish compounds ranging from rashes to asphixiation (can't breathe). However, the gadolinium compounds are not shellfish based, making them much safer for everyone. Another interesting item is that gadolinium is naturally found in your body. Granted it is not a whole lot, but it is there. Researchers have commented on gadolinium being used in the metabolism mechanisms of the body. So it is not necessarily considered a bad additive if used appropriately. Again remember that as always, too much of a good thing can be harmful, so it's probably not a good idea to load your body up with too much of it. Be confident that your doctor will know what is safe for you. And if you feel that you may have an allergic reaction, talk with your doctor. NEVER be afraid to ask your doctor questions concerning your own health.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Medicine.