Barium Sulphate is used to help doctors examine the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth and stomach), stomach, and intestine using x-rays or computed tomography (CAT scan, CT scan; a type of body scan that uses a computer to put together x-ray images to create cross-sectional or three dimensional pictures of the inside of the body). Barium Sulphate is in a class of medications called radiopaque contrast media. It works by coating the esophagus, stomach, or intestine with a material that is not absorbed into the body so that diseased or damaged areas can be clearly seen by x-ray examination or CT scan.

Dosage & Administration

Barium Sulphate comes as a powder to be mixed with water, a suspension (liquid), a paste, and a tablet. The powder and water mixture and the suspension may be taken by mouth or may be given as an enema (liquid that is instilled into the rectum), and the paste and tablet are taken by mouth. Barium Sulphate is usually taken one or more times before an x-ray examination or CT scan. If you are using a Barium Sulphate enema, the enema will be administered by medical staff at the testing center. If you are taking Barium Sulphate by mouth, you may be given the medication after you arrive at the testing center or you may be given the medication to take at home at specific times the night before and/or the day of your test. If you are taking Barium Sulphate at home, take it exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often or at different times than directed. Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly. If you are given a powder to mix with water and take at home, be sure that you are also given directions for mixing and that you understand these directions. Ask your doctor or the staff at the testing center if you have any questions about mixing your medication.You will be given specific directions to follow before and after your test. You may be told to drink only clear liquids after a certain time the day before your test, not to eat or drink after a specific time, and/or to use laxatives or enemas before your test. You may also be told to use laxatives to clear the Barium Sulphate from your body after your test. Be sure that you understand these directions and follow them carefully. Ask your doctor or the staff at the testing center if you are not given directions or if you have any questions about.


Make sure to drink plenty of liquids after the test. Otherwise, Barium Sulphate may cause severe constipation.

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