How to Prepare for Imaging With DaTscan and
What to Expect

Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders when preparing for
single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
imaging with DaTscan.

Tell your doctor if you:

  • Have any allergies or other medical conditions
  • Are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant
  • Have reduced kidney or liver function

Tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, supplements, and recreational drugs.

Your doctor will tell you whether or not you need to stop using these drugs for a short period of time before imaging with DaTscan.

On the day of the test:

Post imaging with DaTscan
  • Drink plenty of fluids and go to the bathroom frequently before imaging with DaTscan (and for 24 hours afterward)
Attire for DaTscan imaging
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing, because you will have to lie still for a
    period of time
Administering DaTscan
  • Bring a list of all the medications you are taking (prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, supplements, and recreational drugs)

image-reorientationWhat to expect during imaging:

The entire process takes several hours. Imaging with DaTscan will be performed by a specially trained healthcare professional; this may be a doctor, nurse, or technologist.

  • At least one hour before the dose of DaTscan, you will receive another drug to prevent the iodine in DaTscan from going into your thyroid. This second drug will minimize the risk of a type of thyroid cancer
  • Before imaging begins, DaTscan will be injected through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm. Because it takes time for DaTscan to be appropriately distributed in the body, you will need to wait three to six hours after this injection for the imaging test to begin
  • For SPECT imaging with DaTscan, you will be asked to lie on a table and the healthcare professional will position you on a headrest. A strip of tape, or some other flexible restraint, may be placed across your forehead or chin to prevent your head from moving during the test
  • A camera will be positioned above you. It will be very close to your head, but it should not touch you. You must try to remain as still as possible while the camera takes pictures (about 30 minutes)

If you have any questions, please talk with your doctor. For additional information, please see the Full Prescribing Information for DaTscan.

What is Datscan (Ioflupane I 123 Injection)?

DaTscan is a radioactive drug that is injected into your bloodstream to highlight areas of your brain so that images can be taken with a special camera (called a single-photon emission computed tomography [SPECT] camera). If you are an adult with a movement difficulty, your doctor may decide to order this imaging test, along with other medical tests, to help decide if your movement difficulties are due to a parkinsonian syndrome or a similar condition such as essential tremor.

Types of parkinsonian syndromes are Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, and progressive supranuclear palsy. DaTscan cannot tell the difference between these parkinsonian syndromes.

DaTscan is available only by prescription and must be ordered by your doctor.

Important Risk and Safety Information About DaTscan

You should not be given DaTscan if:
  • You have ever had a reaction to iodine or are sensitive to any of the components of DaTscan. Talk with your doctor; he or she can help you understand what the drug ingredients are
What is the most important information you should know about DaTscan?
  • Serious allergic and injection-site reactions could occur following a DaTscan injection. If you have any symptoms of a serious allergic nature, including low blood pressure; trouble breathing; throat tightness; swelling of your face, lips, or tongue; or rash and itching, inform your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room right away
  • To help decrease the amount of thyroid accumulation of iodine: Your doctor will give you a medication at least one hour before giving you DaTscan. The purpose of this medication is to minimize the amount of radioactive iodine going into your thyroid gland
  • Pregnancy: Clinical studies have not been conducted with DaTscan on pregnant women. Any radioactive drug, including DaTscan, may cause harm to the fetus. If you are pregnant, your doctor will decide if a DaTscan test is appropriate
  • If your are a nursing mother, your doctor will decide whether you should interrupt nursing and pump and discard breast milk for six days after DaTscan administration to reduce the risks to your nursing infant
  • If you have kidney and/or liver problems: The effects of kidney and /or liver damage from the use of DaTscan are not certain. DaTscan is removed by the kidney, and patients with severe kidney problems may have increased radiation exposure that could change DaTscan images
  • Children: DaTscan should not be given to children
The most common side effects of DaTscan:
  • In clinical studies performed, the most common side effects included headache, nausea and upset stomach, a sensation of motion, dry mouth, or dizziness in less than 1% of patients (1 in 100 patients)
What you should know about taking DaTscan with other medications:
    Some drugs may interfere with DaTscan. Be sure to tell your doctor what drugs you are taking so that he or she can decide whether you should stop any of them for a period of time before using DaTscan
Questions about the procedure:
    Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions about the SPECT imaging procedure or the use of DaTscan
Your doctor should advise you to:
    Increase your level of hydration (fluids) prior to and after receiving DaTscan, and to empty your bladder frequently for the first 48 hours following DaTscan administration

The safety information included here is not comprehensive. If you have any questions, please be sure to discuss them with your doctor.

For more information about DaTscan, call GE Healthcare at 800 654 0118.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 800 FDA 1088.

For more information about DaTscan, call GE Healthcare at 1-800-654-0118.

Please see the Full Prescribing Information for DaTscan at