After your MRI contrast/dye injection

If you are given an injection of MRI contrast/dye, this is to help highlight the area of interest on your magnetic resonance scan.

A reaction to the contrast/dye is extremely rare. However, if a reaction does occur, this usually happens shortly after the injection. These effects are usually very mild and do not last long.

A reaction may show itself as one of the following:

  • nausea and/or vomiting,
  • headache,
  • dizziness, or
  • pain, coldness or warmth around the injection site.

Other effects may occur such as:

  • skin rash, lumps, itchy spots or other allergic symptoms,
  • abdominal discomfort,
  • swelling or tenderness of your salivary glands on your throat,
  • shortness of breath,
  • wheeziness, difficulty in breathing or tightness or pain in the chest, or
  • coughing or sneezing.

It is important to stay well hydrated following the contrast injection to help flush the contrast/dye out of your system fully. We advise drinking between 2-3 litres of water over the next 24 hours.


If you experience any of the symptoms listed within 24 hours of the MR contrast injection, please contact the department where your injection was administered on one of the numbers below:

  • Radiology department on 0161 918 2525, (Cross-sectional radiographer), Monday to Friday, 8:45am to 5pm
  • Proton beam therapy unit on 0161 918 7577/1195, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
  • MR-Linac department on 0161 446 8468, Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.
  • Outside of these hours, contact your GP or NHS 111. If symptoms become severe, or last more than a few days, contact your GP or A&E as treatment may be needed.

Last updated: April 2024