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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Headaches After MRI Scans

By November 8, 2011

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I had my routine MRI scan today to monitor the progress of my multiple sclerosis (MS). Really, the scan went just fine - all of the brain and the cervical spine series (with and without contrast) only took 45 minutes. This is a huge improvement over my first scan about 8 years ago, which took over 3 hours.

I don't have a problem with claustrophobia, so I didn't take any sedation. I didn't love the insertion of the intravenous line to put in the Gadolinium (contrast material), but it was over quickly with just a small amount of pain. The whole thing was so efficient and calm that I almost fell asleep in the tube. I left there congratulating myself on a problem-free MRI.

However, about 30 minutes after I left the clinic, I got hit with a bad headache. Taking Tylenol did nothing. In fact, the pain worsened as the day went on, nearing migraine level discomfort. I felt dizzy and nauseated and had to lie down. Even as I am typing this, almost a full 12 hours later, I am squinting at the keyboard, as I feel unusually sensitive to light at the moment.

I looked this up and found that headache is a side effect of Gadolinium-based contrast agents, as is nausea. (Heads up: I had to dig to find this information from a trusted source. Entering "gadolinium side effects" into Google will bring up pages of hits from attorneys trying to pursue damages for serious adverse events from Gadolinium, such as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. I finally found the actual prescribing information on the FDA website, which confirmed that headache was a potential side effect.)

I think the headache is easing up a little - at least I hope so. I have been drinking what seems like gallons of water today, as instructed by the tech, to "flush out the Gad." I'd like to think this is helping somewhat.

What about any of you? Have you experienced a headache after your MRI scan? Did anything help? How long did it last? Share your stories in the comment section below. Thank you.

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Comments
November 8, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(1) J J says:

My wife has the Gadolinium-based contrast agents as part of her quarterly MRI brain scans because she is JCV antibody positive and continuing Tysabri (50 infusions). She has no side effects – but she swears that the couple of glasses of wine post procedure is the antidote to the headache problem.

November 9, 2011 at 10:50 am
(2) Lori says:

I’ve been hit with the post-MRI/Gadolinium headache in the past and it’s no fun! My new routine is to run through McDonald’s right after my MRI is finished (there’s one across the street from the hospital) and have a diet coke and a little cheeseburger. I don’t know if it’s the caffeine, a little food or if it’s just a placebo effect, but it seems to keep the headache at bay. Well, it keeps it down to a dull type of headache instead of working it’s way into migraine territory.

That aside, it is amazing how quickly the full scans go these days! My first one was only 3 years ago and it was every bit of 2 hours. We’re down to just over an hour now. Not too bad!

November 9, 2011 at 11:06 am
(3) Pam says:

After my MRI, I drank tons of water, lots of green tea, and ate plenty of fruits and veggies for at least a day. It seemed to work perfectly. Hope you feel better soon!

November 9, 2011 at 11:14 am
(4) Jan says:

I wish someone would tell me about the side effects of these things. I had severe dizziness after the MRI’s. It was so bad that I fell just getting out of bed. I had to support myself on the wall to stop falling over.

November 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm
(5) Clare says:

I suffer from chronic headaches,after suffering an Optic Neuritis and was told by several Neuro’s that my headaches have nothing to do with MS and this was one of the reasons that I am without a definite diagnosis.

It’s frustrating that Doctors are hanging on to the BOX that classic MS patients are supposed to fit in. And yet over the last 5 years it has come to my attention that many many MS patients suffer headaches and migraines and this is being ignored by Doctors or treated as a separate issue.

November 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm
(6) Lisa says:

Hi Clare,
Find a different doctor. Optic Neuritis is almost always a sure sign of MS. Good luck!

November 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(7) EB says:

Fortunately post-MRI headaches is something I don’t grapple with. Before being diagnosed I did get headaches quite frequently, but I was also doing a very stressful job and traveling the globe 75% of the time. And my last series last month was actually really simple. Instead of an IV they gave me an injection. Much more comfortable and pleasant if you can say that related to MRIs.

November 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm
(8) Emily says:

I always, for 12 years, have gotten headaches post MRI, both open and closed). Just thought it was from all the banging of the machine, though they do last me most of that day, and nothing I’ve tried really helps. Thanks for posting about the Gad, since I never considered that really. Hope you are feeling better!

November 12, 2011 at 10:45 pm
(9) Jan says:

I also have MS and endure intense headaches/neck aches after MRI with the contrast agent Gad.

However, Gad drops my blood pressure so low that I often pass out in the “tube.” At first I thought I was just so used to the MRIs that I was napping. Then, during the last couple MRIs, the techs couldn’t wake me up and transferred me to the ER via ambulance. Last time I was unconscious for 3 days and on life support in Intensive Care.

Please don’t disregard symptoms like I did — ie: “napping” instead of possibly dangerous reactions from Gad.

I now where a medical tag instructing physicians to not use Gad or any contrasting agent on me.

November 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm
(10) Angela says:

I have had several MRIs and have refused the contrast agent each time. No headache at all. Maybe there is something to this.

By the way, my neurologist has never objected to this!

December 25, 2011 at 9:37 am
(11) Tony says:

Yes , i feel bad headache after MRI , everything is spinning and i feel nausea. It already 2 days now. Please help, what should i do

January 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm
(12) Ruth says:

I had a heart scan MRI on Thursday, 3 days ago and I still have a headache. I did not have the dye injection although I was prepped for it. I was not nervous. When I got out of the machine I was extremely dizzy and felt that way for a good hour afterwards. Exceptionally tired that evening and the next day. If my headache has´nt gone by tomorrow morning I am off to doctors. Nothing is shifting the headache.

February 29, 2012 at 10:02 am
(13) melissa says:

Had a neck MRI done, no contrast. During the MRI, felt like I had to squeeze eyes shut because they felt like they were coming out, had another MRI previous, and CAT scan to show nothing metal in eyes. Also, during MRI, I could feel movement inside my chest and stomach as well as my head. Had a terrible headache for one solid month, day and night after that. Nothing helped the pain, also had alot of ear ringing during the same period.

April 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm
(14) AJ says:

I have had 3 MRIs in the past year with 2 of them in the last month and each one has been followed by a progressively worse headache. Yesterday, the headache reached migraine level and I spent the afternoon in bed. Today, it is still present, although somewhat better. The headache is really no fun, and the fact that it seems to get worse with each MRI concerns me because I have to have the MRIs on a regular basis..

May 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm
(15) Wendy says:

I had an MRI of my shoulder 3 days ago. The noise was like jackhammers in my ears. I have had a thumping headache and ringing in my right ear ever since which isn’t easing. I rang the radiology dept and they said my headache is unrelated. That is so wrong! I never suffer from headaches and I was fine before the MRI.
I went to my local doctor yesterday and he said I may have some nerve damage in my ear but that doesn’t explain the headache. I don’t feel like I can function properly at the moment.
I hope it all improves very soon!!

May 7, 2012 at 11:16 am
(16) Diane says:

Thank you for starting this conversation. I have had a severe headache for now a few weeks since I had Gad. with MRI — I think this explains why. i struggle with headaches since my head injury years ago but it has not been this level for years — that stuff is horrible.

May 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm
(17) Nick says:

I had an MRI yesterday and I have had a splitting headache since. I had no injection or anything. It is quite rare for me to get headaches so I feel it must have been this. I had headphones on during too so I can’t see how it was the noises from the machine.

I did also get 2 electric charges that scared the crap out of me. These were really painful. The nurse said afterwards it was because I had my hands linked above my belly which creates a loop and a charge builds up. So, keep your hands by your sides people!

May 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm
(18) Anne says:

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who suffers from massive headaches from MRI’s (but I am sorry for those of you who have suffered from them). The last MRI I got caused me to have headaches for a month after I had it done (it was for my shoulder… And I could feel my tattoo prickling when it was done).

I’m due to have a head MRI tomorrow, but I’m seriously contemplating refusing it, just because of what I’ll suffer from afterwards(I always go no contrast, as I’m allergic). I already had a CT that came back with no abnormalities and have to do an EEG at the end of the week. I think I’m done with all these expensive tests..,

June 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm
(19) Eugenia says:

Ok, so hear is the thing i don’t get: since all of us have suffered from the same thing, how can these doctors keep on insisting that this is not caused by the M.R.I?? This morning I had the second one in one week leaving me feeling nauseated, with an awful headache and worst of all loosing my balance more than once…. What do we do because this is all very upsetting!!

June 28, 2012 at 12:54 am
(20) Kate says:

OMG! I am so grateful that you all left these messages on here and shared your stories following your MRI’s. I am so sorry you had to suffer from a test that doctos will insist does not result in any side effects. By you all sharing the TRUTH of what happened to you, I am NOT having my MRI on Saturday! Thank you!

July 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm
(21) Liz says:

I had an MRI with a contrast three days ago; it was done twice a few hours apart with a double dose of the contrast — and still having a significant headache that will not go away…possibly starting to ease a bit today after working outside and drinking a LOT of water… but still had to take pain relievers x 3 today. Glad to hear other comments to know that I’m not alone… I don’t think I’ll sign up for another one any time soon. :(

July 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm
(22) Wynelle says:

I can’t believe so many people have also experienced severe headaches after MRIs. Such has also been my experience with numerous MRIs since 1998, with and without contrast. I stumbled upon a neurologist who had the answer that has worked every time since. He gave me oxygen during the MRI, and I didn’t get a headache–don’t know why, but it works! I insist on getting oxygen each time I need to take an MRI, and if they say it’s unavailable, I say “I’m unavailable!”

August 7, 2012 at 11:32 am
(23) Rino says:

Thank you thank you everyone for these invaluable posts! I had my annual 3hr MRI with contrast yesterday and am still feeling lethargic and exceptionally sensitive to light. I have MS (they tell me I’ve had it 10yrs or so though I was only correctly dx in 2010) and suffer from migraines which are different than an MS symptom but common in folks with MS, and had a nasty one yesterday evening. My neuro has me on a dedicated migraine rx (mine begin with severe nausea that then leads to pain, so I’m on prochlorperazine as needed to head off the migraine cycle), and I found it well worth asking my doctor to investigate and treat me for migraines just as you might take medications to alleviate the other symptoms of MS (e.g., provigil, neurontin, etc, etc, etc.!) I too hadn’t thought of a reaction to the contrast dye — I’ll up my veggies and water and see what develops. :)

Btw, although I’m not feeling well at the moment, I consider it well worth it to know what’s going on with my brain and how well my current treatment (campath) is modifying and slowing the course of my disability. A little pain now = knowledge and more choices down the line. Be encouraged — the MRI is a beast that is 100% conquerable with some creative strategies of your own.

Thanks again!

August 13, 2012 at 10:38 am
(24) Lt says:

Had MRI with contrast 7/10/12. Three weeks to get over reaction: migraine with all sorts of aura, nausea, feverish but no fever, severe dizziness, fatigue and weakness, extreme sweating, flush, chills, joint and back pain all over, and feeling like parts of my skin were on fire. It is now 3 weeks and symptoms are just fading. Finally back to work.

Never again unless my life depends on it will I take contrast.

August 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm
(25) Joe p says:

I’ve had a MRI scan with and without contrast a good 10 days ago and still are dealing with splitting headaches from hell!!! Due to a neck fusion c4/c7 and a fall downstairs my doctor requested this exam. There was no damage whatsoever to the surgery instruments or broken bones but my pain got very bad the same day! Took some ibuprofen, 400mg. No dice. What to do now?

August 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm
(26) Daniel G says:

I had my first MRI this morning and I had to be sedated. Now I have a horrible headache and am really exhausted. Why?
It was a neck scan.

August 15, 2012 at 3:19 am
(27) Rebecca says:

I had an MRI scan today, just of my pelvis. I did not have my head in the machine but I could feel the magnets up to my chest. I did not have any injections and I wore head phones to drown out the machine noise.
About 30mins after the scan, whilst driving home, I got the worst headache I have had in my whole life. I have just taken panadol and I’m hoping for the best. I’m not prone to headaches at all and I can’t understand why my head feels like it’s ready to explode. Could this also be from the MRI even though my head wasn’t in the machine?

August 16, 2012 at 12:43 am
(28) Thesystemhasfailed says:

Had an MRI this morning and I am not claustrophobic but had a hard time in the tube. You’re helpless once you’re in there. I felt like my blood was boiling. When it was over I literally ran out of there. Now I have a headache, feel dizzy, and generally out of sorts. I didn’t need this $3,000. test. It’s all a scam. They’ll never get me in that thing again.

September 2, 2012 at 1:29 am
(29) Scott Nelms says:

I had a brain mri on 8/31/12…without and with contrast, lasted just over an hour, as soon as I was done I had a bad headache, not a migraine but more like a concussion headeach with brain ache, which I have had from sports before. I had no sedative but was impaired to drive, so stopped about haft way home and took a break I was also dizzy and brain did not function clearly, now over 24 hours later I still have headache and still dizzy. Tylanol did not help. I think the severe vibrations bruise the brain, almost like getting hit in the head. I hope it is not a sign of something being amiss. I hope I do not need another.

Scott

September 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(30) pa says:

I had an MRI of my lumbar spine about 10 days ago. As soon as I left the hospital, I felt so sick. I got home and slept for 1/2 the day. I just thought it was fatigued. This was on a Saturday. Then on Monday, I went to work, still not feeling 100% but doing the best I could with the pain and pressure in my head. Finally on Thursday, I was in severe pain. I kept trying to avoid going to the doctor. Friday, I started crying at work. I was in such pain. On Saturday, my boyfriend insisted I go to the hospital. I called the doctor and they said to go to the ER. While waiting, I felt like dying! I couldn’t see, I was wearing sun glasses to avoid the light. My body was in pain. They asked me how I felt…Was it pins or needles…sharp or stabbing…I answered all of the above. Don’t ask me how I was able to walk. Once on a gurnie, I was given a shot for my migraine and IV for my dehydration. They took blood and everything was okay except that I also had acid reflux. I was given a mint paste like drink to relieve the pain in my stomach. After all the shots and IV’s, I started to feel better. I was given migraine medication about four perscriptions…and said to follow up with my regular doctor. I have never had a migraine like this. This was a life or death type of feeling. It was horrible. I felt like I was going to die. I am still trying to feel better but I am still not 100%. I ask for your prayers. I know I will get better but I thought I should share this with you. I really think they kept me under the MRI machine for too long. I have had MRI before but this tech kept me there too too long…the average time is about 20 minutes. I felt she kept me in there for close to 40…She also kept that banging noise right on my ear region. She put the earphones on my ears but forgot to raise the music up. It was a bad experience.

September 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm
(31) Lynn says:

Such an important conversation. I had a full brain and spine MRI (no contrast) in 2004 and had horrible migraine-type headache by that evening and continuing for a week. I was left with PERMANENT chronic daily headache. The headache neurologist I saw said my brain looked fine before the test, so it couldn’t be a brain problem and maybe it was bought on by being in one position for too long. I had Fibromyalgia pain before the MRI but no history of headaches. No Dr mentioned anyone getting headaches from MRI’s, but this thread shows me it happens! I had a car accident and am supposed to have an MRI in Oct, but I am afraid now. I thought I could use foam or a pillow and that might help, but I think it is more than positional problems causing these headaches. I wonder about oxygen.

October 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm
(32) Helg says:

I had a MRI 3 days ago and my head hurts up to now, I am so worried, is this pain ever going to go away?

And the worst thing, is that I probably did not even needed to get an MRI in the first place. I feel really stupid for having done it.

October 9, 2012 at 8:48 am
(33) Sam Simon says:

I had a “double double” C-Spine and T-Spine with & without contrast and it too two hours. My confusion is that I wasn’t feeling well before hand with the nauseau and headache. It took about three hours before my symptoms became intolerable. I couldn’t continue to function and had to lay down. Naseau, inability to focus and a headache that was more irritating than intolerable,but on the right side (suggesting migraine)

Because I had the symptoms before the MRI I have discounted the role of the contrast; but even this morning — starring into the computer makes me light headed, which again makes me wonder if it isn’t reall Migraine rather than contrast related….

October 28, 2012 at 11:16 am
(34) Billi says:

I had a mri on Thursday October 26th. The whole thing took about 90 minutes. During the procedure it felt like things were moving in my abdomen. The mri was of my hip. After it was completed I was a bit dizzy, very pale, sick to my stomach, and felt a headache coming on. I was alone so I drove to a nearby restaurant and ate a little something. I drank a very large ice tea and a water. I went home and straight to bed. The next morning, thankfully the symptoms were gone, except for the feeling that I was traumatized by the experience. I will definitely weigh my options before I consent to another. Thanks for the thread, it’s helpful to see others stories. :)

November 14, 2012 at 9:20 am
(35) ken says:

WOW! I’ve been blessed with only a dozen or so headaches in my 53 years. Today after my MRI I have a big one. won’t go away…My MRI was a simple one not involving any other treatments like dyes or drugs. Glad to hear it is somewhat normal. Hope it will go away soon. Does anyone know how long I should expect this headache to last??

November 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm
(36) Tim says:

headache from hades, tried dark chocolate, seems to help

November 17, 2012 at 9:15 am
(37) christine says:

if you go to http://www.mrisafety.com it will tell you anything u need to know. this website is what the mri techs base the safety precautions for patients on. i call it the mri “bible”.

December 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm
(38) ggias says:

I had a breast MRI 2 days ago w/contrasting agent. I lasted 12 minutes and had to stop the procedure bc I was sweating and became extremely dizzy. I had to stay in the lab for 2 hours bc I was so nauseated and ended up throwing up at the lab before I could drive home. I wish I had brought someone with me so I wouldn’t have to drive after the procedure. I felt dizzy the rest of the day and was extremely tired I could barely keep my eyes open. I had to be sedated because I was so nauseated and couldn’t keep anything down. Its been 2 days and I still don’t feel like my normal self. I never knew that an MRI procedure could have this type of effect on me and the lab/doctor never mentioned any of these potential side effects.

December 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm
(39) MEA says:

Just got back to the office after MRI w/contrasting agent. I have a bad headache and am dizzy and feel drained and weak. I am glad I found this site, though, it’s sort of like a MRI support group. I will try the wine, the hamburger, and the dark chocolate – maybe a shopping spree – lol!!!
Hope the best for all of us.

December 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm
(40) Lynn says:

I had my first ever MRI on my shoulder yesterday. today my ears are stuffed and ringing. It dawned on me that it could be that. I hope it doesn’t last.

December 12, 2012 at 9:24 pm
(41) K Wilmar says:

I had an MRI (with no contrast) two days ago of my lower abdomin. It lasted about 40 minutes. Afterward, I was a little dizzy, which the technician said sometimes happened to patients. As the day went on, I still felt out of sorts, with nausea and a head ache contributing to the dizziness. I don’t know why this happens to some people and not others. Thank you for sharing this thread, as it is interesting to see other people have experienced the same things. I hope this finds you well.

December 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm
(42) Katie says:

I went in for my second MRI today. I had an MRI about a year and a half ago for my knee. Today I went in for an MRI of my upper, middle, and lower back. My doctor wants to see if I have a spinal injury or infection due to weakness in my neck and upper body. I had to get the contrast which wasn’t bad at all except for slight pain at the very beginning. When I left the hospital, I felt fine except for some dizziness. Once I got home about 30 minutes later, I started to get a headache. I didn’t take any medicine because I can usually just go lie down with a cold washcloth and the headache leaves. However, this time the headache continues and just gets worse. I’m think it’s due to the contrast and I would have liked to have known about this possible side affect before it came.

December 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm
(43) Jessica says:

I had a MRI with contrast yesterday morning. My head started hurting an hour or so after and it seems to just be getting worse. I still feel really tired as well. I forced myself to get up and move around thinking it would make me feel better, but it brought on nausea. Wish I would have denied the contrast. Hope this passes quickly.

January 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm
(44) Katy says:

I had an MRI of my ankle two days ago on New Year’s Eve and I was in the machine for 30 minutes when the doctor came in and said I needed the contrast injection. I had it and went back into the machine for another 30 minutes. The noises the machine made were horrendous!! Now it’s been two days and I’ve had splitting headaches that are getting no better, if you need an MRI I would seriously reconsider. It was a horrid experience!!!

January 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm
(45) Heather says:

I just had an MRI today on my spine. No injections. Have severe headache? Racing heart, dizziness and sensitive to light. A little nautious

January 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm
(46) hopeful says:

Had an MRI with contrast. Came home ate dinner had the worst stomach ache ever and threw up. Next day felt tired and achey, feverish but no fever almost like flu. I’m sure it was worth it but would have liked more warning about side effects from dye

January 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm
(47) steve says:

please all listen after mri scan severe headache remedy lay flat on couch head on small cushon place large ice pack at nape of neck (although my girlfriend used fridge chilled honeydew melon) leave ther till nape of neck is numb chilled keep in place thou then second ice pack on forehead i would say about an hour .from a ten in severity to a four good luck all this definatly worked for us

February 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm
(48) JKo says:

I had a MRI today for pelvis, as we want to look in more detail at my fibroids and if they are impacting fertility issues.

I had to have the dye injected as well, thus far three hours after MRI I have NO headache. The worst part for me was having the IV needle inserted in my arm and it was just left there until the MRI started 30 minutes later! I just tried to ignore it. It hurt at first but then my body adapted to this foreign object stuck in my arm!

The scan was fine, I personally HATE small spaces and even hate crowded elevators but it was not at ALL claustophobic for me. It took a lot longer than I though, like 40 minutes! You hear all these noises as the scanner is going, later I told the tech that was the worst techo music I had ever heard! That’s what it sounded like to me!

Near the end of the scan is when they injected the dye. I swear I could taste metal and felt it in my lips, but only for about 30 seconds. Then I had no other symptoms.

For many parts of the scan, you have to hold your breath for about 15 to 16 seconds, while they are taking certain pics. I found I could barely hold my breath that long!

I was very happy to get out of there but remained patient and actually the holding your breath part of it gave me something to do and focus on! I felt a bit weird getting up, as I had been lying down for so long and noticed I looked pale. I ate and had coffee afterwards and now feel quite normal again!

February 16, 2013 at 12:55 am
(49) Ilse says:

I had a brain MRI (no contrast) on Thursday. I had trouble breathing inside the scanner but attributed it to anxiety since it took me a while to relax. But even after I somehow relaxed my breathing remained difficult. I think the comments about lack of oxygen really make sense. I did feel tired afterwards but enormously relieved to be out of the scanner. The day after the scan I felt quite tired and felt a pressure in my head. Even today , the second day after the scan, my head is still not back to normal. Thanks for all the comments. They really helped me.

March 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm
(50) Peggy says:

Had an MRI on my hip today, with the dye.
Within an hour of leaving the hospiatl I had my husband pull the car over so I could throw up. I’ve been nasueous for 3 hours now, and VERY tired. My hip and leg feel awful.
Hoping by tomorrow morning I am feeling better – otherwise I’m going back to the drs.
Thanks for the thread.

March 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm
(51) karen says:

Just had my second MRI on thoracic spine and now, 5 hours later, I have a headache and nausea. Hope I am not headed for a migraine. I think I can actually feel the pull of the magnet on my chest, causing flushing and panicky feelings. I also felt like I couldn’t breathe as well. Thought maybe that was due to the bit of panic. Not sure now. I had my first MRI about three weeks ago, and ended up with a terrible migraine later that night. I do suffer from these regularly and thought it was just the stress of having to have an MRI. Doctor has ordered these tests to evaluate for ms.

April 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm
(52) MNorris says:

I had two MRI scans a week apart. The first was uneventful. Several days after the second one I started minor headache that lasted Thursday-Monday at a moderate pain level. I am still affected with on and off again pain. The pain moved from one side of my head to the other, from back to front. I was not told to expect pain nor was any possible solution recommended. I took hydrocodone (prescribed for knee replacmenment) provided minor relief.

April 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm
(53) jusrjim says:

Had mri on the 1st. I asked the office girl if dye was safeshe said yes. I told tech I have kidney problems and liver issue he said don’t worry its safe. The minute I got up my head hurt also felt dizzy. When I got home I felt like vomiting now the 4th still feel like vomiting also a major headache since the night of the 1st and my head just isn’t right. Have not taking my blood pressire mess since my blood pressure felled real low. How is any of this safe. Please if you post your sick please post if you get better or if you end up with kidney or liver problems. So we no what to look forward to. Has anyone ended up with N.S.F or nephrogenic systemic fibrosis ? This is a major concern since I have had kidney issues and liver problems i live in Florida and have found in a lot of mri center out of my state it is mandatory to have blood test before getting mri contrast. Not here or maybe not self pay. Thxxx for info everyone. Hope you all get better I will post again when and of feel better . Email me guaranteedradiators @ gmail. Com. Spaces so they don’t block it.

April 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm
(54) whymewhynow says:

I have a terr’ible headache. Prayedall the way through t h e procedure next appt may ???? To get result

April 19, 2013 at 8:17 am
(55) kas says:

I had MRI with contrast dye on my head last Tuesday. The results were good but since the following day I have been suffering from a very strange and severe headache. It gets very worse in the upright position (comes relatively quickly like in 5-20 min) and improves gradually when I lay down on my back. I have to spend most of time laying down to feel better but if I go back to the upright position it comes back. I tried Panadol (headache medicine) but it didn’t help much. Sometimes when the headache comes I feel like something pumping fluids on both sides of my head right above the ears and eventually feel very exhausted and cannot concentrate. I’m not sure if the problem is getting worse everyday but definitely it is not getting better, even after 3 days. If you had a similar experience and you realized improvement, plz post how long it took till you felt better and what you did to help easing it.

April 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm
(56) KK says:

I had MRI done today for the pelvis area. I did feel nauseous afterwards, though no headache, but I also felt my body temperature rose a bit higher than normal. The nausea stopped after stopping at Wendy’s and having spicy chicken burger with a drink of coke….I guess the nausea must be due to having gad plus the shot on empty stomach. I’ll try taking lots of water to wash the iv and shot out of my system as advised in this blog. Thanks all for sharing your experience.

April 26, 2013 at 10:54 pm
(57) RH says:

I had an MRI of the brain late yesterday (4-5 pm), with gadolinium dye for the last part. Afterwards, I felt disoriented–like I had just been uninjured in a car accident. Vitamin water and a little protein seemed to help the most. I didn’t eat before the MRI, and after experiencing the following I would drink lots of water and eat some protein before and after.

The worst part was a 3-hour ordeal that happened this morning. I woke at 6:20 and needed to go to the bathroom. I got out of bed and took a few steps and the entire room started to spin. I fell to the floor and called out to my husband. I couldn’t lift my head up without feeling like I was going to spin into oblivion and had to lie flat on the floor. My husband took my blood pressure/pulse and that was good. We couldn’t get in touch with my doctor and the HMO receptionist said we could call an ambulance if needed, but we wanted to avoid doing something drastic. Turns out it was extreme vertigo and I thought I would share what worked for me in case anyone else experiences something similar after an MRI:

1. Have a blood pressure/pulse machine. If it’s normal, it rules out many other problems.
2. Good to try to turn the head slowly looking to the left, then slowly to the right. For me, the left was fine while laying down- but I’d get very dizzy when turning my head to the right. The doctor said this is a symptom of vertigo.
3. Good to drink water and urinate if possible. This flushed out more of the gadolinium.
4. After about 2 hours, I was able to sit up with my husband’s help, then to my knees, and then to stand up. For the next hour we sat & waited for my doctor’s call. He took my blood pressure/pulse, brought me water and walked me to the bathroom. The water helped a lot. It wasn’t long before I could walk by myself.
5. When the doctor called, I was much better and she said I had vertigo and that she would have done exactly what we did to rule out any issues and there was no need to come in to see her.

May 12, 2013 at 8:51 am
(58) Mrs Ali says:

I had my 12 or 13th MRI for MS which was diagnosed 15 years ago. The MRI was on Friday and of course as always I had the contrast injected during the end of the MRI. This and last years MRI while I was in the machine my head started hurting and it was torture to lay still with the pain. Today is Sunday and it has started hurting again. I will take something for it an pray for the best.

May 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm
(59) Michele says:

@kas (comment #33 on April 19, 2013)
I had an MRI with gadolinium for a supposedly benign meningioma brain tumour.
I have symptoms similar to yours. Still flat on my back 3 days later with exact same headache pain when I stand. Pressure in temples and back of head when standing, and especially when coughing or bending over. Have you improved? If so, how long did it take?
Found this site after googling “gadolinium headache”… did not real until just now that it is an ms site. Forgive me if my question is inappropriate here.

May 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm
(60) Michele says:

Duh…referenced incorrect comment #. I meant @kas, comment #55. Sorry!

May 31, 2013 at 10:41 pm
(61) Sam says:

Had an MRI of the Brain yesterday early evening (6:45pm) with contrast. Lasted about 40 minutes. It is now 28 hours later and the migraine is still there. Noticed it immediately after the MRI – noise sensitivity, light sensitivity, nausea, head pounding, visual aura. Know most of my migraine triggers and I can add MRI to it. MRI tech told me to drink lots of water, which I have, but the symptoms persist. I also have felt a constant intense thirst despite all of the water and Gatorade. Also have sinus mucus draining which definitely was not there prior to the MRI.

June 19, 2013 at 7:54 am
(62) Leah says:

Had a MRI on my brain with no contrast. Afterwards I did notice a headache with some nausea. Came home and tried to sleep it off before work. Headache progressively got worse to almost migraine level. Had to leave work. This morning still have a bit of a headache but it’s tolerable. Wish I would of know this could be a side effect.

June 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm
(63) KAS says:

I post before comment # 55 – this is a reply to comment 59 of Michele

Sorry for the late reply. It took me perhaps a week or a bit more until the headache completely disappeared. Yet, sometimes especially in the morning when I wake up I hear this strange low pumping waves that perhaps sound like heart beat. Before the MRI I never had this problem.

Wish you and everybody speedy recovery

June 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm
(64) Rosemary Mitchell says:

I had an MRI without contrast 9 days ago. I am still feeling disorientated, headache ,weak and very unwell. No doctors have accepted thatyou can react to an MRI, although a pharmacist said it was not uncommon. It does not seem to be improving.

July 22, 2013 at 10:49 am
(65) Kate says:

I had a brain MRI on a very specific area (third ventricle and Sylvian aqueduct). No contrast used. All was well during the procedure. I came home feeling very tired and within about one hour, had the most massive headache in the area where I’ve been experiencing them most.

The headaches prior to the MRI had subsided but after the procedure, wow, came right back with a vengeance. I thought, “they’ve found the spot, that’s for sure!” I was surprised to learn that MRIs do not cause any side effects in this way but my experience tells me that they do.

I have a titanium plate in my shoulder. Don’t know if that made a difference.

Thanks for opening the discussion!

October 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm
(66) Debra says:

Had an MRI this morning with the dye. Tonight I have the worst headache of my life and feel nausead. I have been trying to drink water to flush my system but I’m not hungry. I’m forcing myself to eat crackers. It a horrible feeling. The loud noises were like a torture chamber. Hope I never have to do that again.

November 2, 2013 at 1:44 am
(67) anrev says:

Had MRI two days ago. Geez the noise in the machine made my head rattle. Felt the vibration down through my forehead and nose and eye area. Still have pressure in my head and still feeling tired. Glad to have found this site.

November 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm
(68) ClangerX says:

Since 1996 I have had six MRIs. All O/K till the last two on July 12 and November 29. 2013. No tracer was used but the after effects including CNS pain along with muscle spasm is really tough to handle.

The first set of reactions on July 12, I put down to a bug or being 69 yrs old but this one is far worse and has to be the MRI. Headache and spinal nerve pain, muscles feel like they have been stretched on a wrack. Trying to think is like wading thru treacle. Sorry to be so dramatic but the effects are definitely awful. Reading some of the letters seems to suggest that this is normal and yet they tell us that the MRIs are safe.

Kind regards to all, ClangerX.

December 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm
(69) Jo-Ann Kiers says:

Approx. a week ago I had an M.R.I. two days later I started to get Migraines at the front of my head and at the very back of my head near the top of my spine. When they come it lasts about a half hr. and then I’m exhausted and sleep four about 3 hrs. I put it off to maybe the Christmas season or some stresses in my life. I now don’t think so as I have been having migraines now twice a day at least ever since and this Thursday evening onthe 19th will be a week since I had the test. I read the comments of the person whom said she did have Migraines and the person who said(being a M.R.I.Technician) I would think that he or the individual because of all of their training would be 100% correct but just maybe that person has not spoken to the people whom have had the test for follow up as that is done by their Physician. So one is by the book and the other is by life experience after whom is the one to believe.
Well the Dr. of course or the Tech. but what both of them fail sometimes forget that if the person speaking to them continually have this problem of headache or migraines shortly after the test then it should be looked into. Thank-you for listening.

January 15, 2014 at 8:24 am
(70) William says:

Today is Wednesday the 15th, I had a lower lumbar with contrast on Monday the 13th.. This was my first MRI ever. I have had an absolutely terrible crippling headache ever since.. pounding, pressure, nausea, and dizziness.. I’m writing this at 8:20 in the morning and the pain is incredible. I tried Tylenol throughout the day yesterday and it has not let up. I had an awful time falling asleep last night because of it.
If this is a side effect of the MRI….. I will never have another one EVER…… just terrible,

February 6, 2014 at 9:41 pm
(71) julie luscombe says:

It`s 4 weeks and 3 days since I had my MRI scan to look at the function of metal hip replacements. For the last 3 minutes I was burning up, gown stuck to my chest. As I walked out I felt face burning as if I`d been under a sun bed without glasses. That night, had to put on after sun spray and eye drops. Eyes are still sore, face still feeling burnt.
Back of the neck pain started. Went to osteopath. Now I feel it`s affecting my arms and even my legs feel funny. It`s not got better.
I have high levels of chromium and cobalt because of the metal ions released by friction of the hips. Could this have affected my reaction?
MRI dept. says they have never had a reaction in 35years! Eyes look sore and face pink when I get hot. Very worried

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February 21, 2014 at 12:15 am
(73) Sara says:

Just had a brain MRI done this morning w/ and w/out gadolinium. Lingering, light headache and neckache, but to the point where I am unable to fall asleep. Took some aspirin, I think it took the edge off, but still feeling discomfort.
This was not my first MRI. Two years ago to the day, I was hospitalized with an Optic Neuritis. Severe loss of vision in my left eye. Spinal tap revealed seven oligoclonal bands. So far, no lesions found. Pretty severe fatigue on most days. My ‘general’ neurologist was ready to diagnose me with MS, but before, sent me to a ‘board certified neurologist in MS’. The latter said I have a 25% chance of developing MS in my lifetime and… did nothing else. I find myself on a year’s medical leave from none other than medical school. I was ‘forced’ into this leave by the school. I am very confused and feel helpless and definitely judged by those around me as ‘exaggerating’ my symptoms (school and friends/acquaintances), thankfully not my family. Can anyone help with any advice? I haven’t had a 2nd ‘episode’ in these past two years since the first one (ON), which was the MS-neurologists criteria for diagnosing me officially with MS. Depressed after all this? Likely :(

February 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm
(74) deb says:

I had a head mri about a month ago and while i was in the machine my neck started to feel wierd, like it was twisted. I asked if I could change position, which, of course, I couldn’t. Since then I have been having intermittent pain in my neck, just on one side, the left, usually when I am lying in bed on my side or my back. It is wierd and makes me wonder about mris, since they are a relatively new technology and I don’t know how much research has ever been done on side effects. I have also been having slight headaches lately, which I really stopped getting years ago. Not sure if these are directly related to the mri, but wonder why a very strong magnetic pull right around the body wouldn’t have side effects.
I chose not to have the contrast dye since they sprung it on me at the last minute and I hadn’t had time to research it. I already have a skin problem and liver and gall bladder issues and didn’t want to take any chances, if there could be an allergic reaction, or possible irreversible damage to any organs.

February 27, 2014 at 8:08 pm
(75) Syzygy says:

I’ve had so many MRIs I’ve lost count (I was in a drug study) and didn’t have a problem with gad until last time-the headache was nothing compared to the allergic reaction 20 mins after- off to the ER with chest pain, trouble breathing, dizzyness.. can’t remember much of it. I kinda thought the MRIs were cool until then, I often just fell asleep.

March 27, 2014 at 7:46 pm
(76) Janey says:

I had an MRI/MRA this morning to check on a slight dilation of my aorta that was found on an echocardiogram. I’m 39, I’ve had a couple of MRIs in the past with essentially no symptoms, but today! OMG! They put me in one of the “stronger” MRI machines used for the MRAs (I hadn’t realized that there were different “strengths” of MRIs, in very basic terms). It was even more enclosed than a regular closed MRI. My eyelashes were about an inch and a half away from the top of the tube, and my arms had to be padded so they wouldn’t touch the sides (the padding certainly touched the sides!). I’m an average size and height, but I felt if I had slightly broader shoulders or weighted 30 pounds more, no way would I fit in that thing! I’m not claustrophobic, though, and I had taken a Xanax, so that was ok. When the test began, though! OMG – each time images were taken, I felt as if the machine were jackhammering in my skull. Not the noise, I had in good earplugs, but it felt as if the insides of my body were moving and being vibrated. It was a very unsettling feeling. Then I had the gad contrast injection, felt cool for a minute, and it was over – but I was almost disoriented when it was over. My head hurt terribly, I felt weak and a bit shaky. Like others, I had a little something to eat and drink and felt somewhat more normal in about 2 hours. The headache, however, lasted quite a while longer. It was a bizarre experience. I do think it was worth it, though, because my condition is potentially very dangerous and MRI/MRA is the gold standard for imaging the aorta, so I would do it again if I had to – I would just be prepared to feel sick the rest of the day and know that it can be “normal!”

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