U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A male asked:

Why should you not take metformin for 48 hours after having a ct scan had ct scan for pain in abdomen have had 3 surgeries in the last year all dealing with my pancreas .the ct tech told me not to take my metformin for 48 hours and i would like to know wh

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mary Engrav
Dr. Mary Engravanswered
Emergency Medicine 32 years experience
The : The combination of metformin and ct contrast (the dye that is injected) can be hard on the kidneys, and can cause a condition called "lactic acidosis" where the blood becomes too acidotic and can also damage the kidneys. Waiting 48 hours has been shown to be a safe time period after receiving ct contrast to resume your metformin.
Dr. David Sneid
Dr. David Sneid commented
Endocrinology 42 years experience
The 48 hours is a totally arbitrary FDA rule which is not based on any scientific knowledge. It is better and safer to measure renal function than go strictly by time elapsed.
May 12, 2013
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 30 years experience
Drug interaction: Metformin taken with IV dye can cause a short term decrease in renal function. Stopping it for 2 days allows the kidneys to recover from the IV dye. Generally, a blood test is performed at 48 hours to make sure kidney function is ok. Then metformin can be restarted.
Dr. David Sneid
Dr. David Sneid commented
Endocrinology 42 years experience
Metformin does not cause decreases in renal function; it's a well known potential side effect of the iodine containing contrast dye. The dye is the risk, not the metformin - it's an innocent bystander.
May 12, 2013
Dr. David Sneid
Endocrinology 42 years experience
The iodine dye: Can cause decrease in renal function or even renal failure. If you are taking metformin and go into renal failure, the metformin can accumulate in your system and cause problems. You don't actually have to stop the metformin, if you get a blood test for kidney function a day after the dye, and it's ok, you can just continue the metformin. The 48 hours is an arbitrary and nonsensical fda rule.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Feb 12, 2022

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.