Nuclear Medicine Safety

Before the radiopharmaceuticals in nuclear imaging are used, they are tested carefully and are approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The quantity of the pharmaceutical part of the radiopharmaceutical is very small, generally 1/10th of a millionth of an ounce. The risk of a reaction is 2-3 incidents per 100,000 injections, over 50% of which are rashes, as compared to 2000-3000 per 100,000 injections of X-ray contrast dye.

Nuclear medicine is older than CT, MRI, and ultrasound. It was first used in patients more than 60 years ago. Today it is an established medical specialty, practiced every day in all major countries in the world. In the United States alone more than 333 million procedures have been performed. That is more than every individual living in the United States.