Barium Sulfate

As many time as I've had to down this crap, even with heaps of chocolate syrup, it's still nasty.

I've got a CT scan tomorrow morning and I've got two bottles to get through beforehand. Bleggh.

I'm gonna have to keep downing this stuff every 3 or 6 months for scans.. Anyone have any success making this stuff bearable to drink?


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  • My CT prep has changed. I orginally needed the gross stuff but now it is just this small (1 ounce) container I need to ass to 20 ounces of clear liquids. Might be worth asking about.
  • I've had it before and drink it really cold. Also ask if they have flavored. When I was in the hospital they gave me banana flavored and it was actually good.
  • Yup, nasty stuff.

    Make sure it's really cold. I find that drinking several gulps - then stopping for 10 minutes - gulps - etc. helps as well, as opposed to taking tiny sips throughout the hour. I happen to hate banana flavor, but the regular citrusy one is tolerable to me. Anyway, good luck - I've had to do this for 2 1/2 years now. What can you do!
  • i have to agree the citrus one is so much better than the banana one, I hate when they pour it in a cup and put ice in because then the ice melts and just makes more of it, lol
  • I wrote in my book that the stuff is actually a mixture of goat semen and chalk dust that they say helps the scan show areas of cellular activity, but I think it's really just so the techs can win a betting pool about how many people they can get to drink goat semen.
  • I used to have to drink this for my CT scans, but I moved cross country last year, and my new hospital uses a contrast dye that is soluble in water, and therefore is just like drinking a glass of water (even taste-wise). It's much better than barium sulfate, which is a suspension. You should ask about it, I can't for the life of me remember what it is called, though. I'll be in the hospital in a week or two for some imaging, I'll try to get the name. When I did drink Barium Sulfate, though, I used to chug it, like a shot, and just chase it with some water. Take a big 2 gulp chug every 5 mins or so, chase, repeat. It always made me feel like hell for the rest of the day, though.

    Funny story, by the way. About a year after my diagnosis, I was taking an intro chemistry class. In one of the labs in this class, we were forming precipitates out of soluble reactants, and one of the solids we made was barium sulfate. I had one of those extremely awkward moments, holding a test-tube full of toxic chemicals, where I turned to my lab partner and said: "you know how much of this stuff I've drunk in the last year?" I don't think he ever considered me to be sane after that point.
  • Man I hate that stuff too. I have actually developed a "sensitivity" to it. Surprise surprise, I have only had to drink 2 litres every eight weeks for the past 18 months!! I now have to drink it slowly,yuk, because when I chug it I wake up several hours later with a raging headache and end up hurling up my toes and a few items I ate in 1973!! My oncologist told me the other day I could half my dose, as long as i sipped it for an hour before the scan. Also the night before dose can be halved if you are able to eat light the couple days before so your bowels arent full of ... well you know. I find the berry flavor to be the best, and I almost get it frozen bfore I drink it.
  • I had to drink the Barium for my first CT, when I got in to the room to do the scan I had to drink one more small cup, I got the banana flavor. I took one sip then immediatly spewed Barium across the room. Luckly thats the only time I had the nasty stuff.
    I started goin to another hospital, they give me different stuff to drink im not sure what its called, its two cups (12 ounces each I think) its almost tastes like koolaid. I dont think its tastes good but its way better than Barium.