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Brand names: Definity RT and Optison
Drug class: Ultrasound contrast medium

What is Definity?

The Definity Contrast Agent is an ultra-sound contrast that can be used to enhance the quality of echocardiograms (the ultrasound of your heart). The medicine changes the path of ultrasound waves within your heart. The ultrasound can then show a more detailed image of the heart. The definity feature allows certain heart segments to be more easily seen on an echocardiogram. This medication guide does not list all possible uses of Definity.

Side effects of Definity

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergy reaction, seek immediate medical attention: skin redness; itching. Warmth, redness, or a tingly sensation; difficulty breathing; tightness or discomfort in your chest and throat

Rarely, an injection can cause a serious reaction or even death. Inform your caregivers immediately if you experience:

  • Feeling dizzy as though they could faint is common during times of emotional upset and can result in severe dizziness, leaving people vulnerable and susceptible to passing out.
  • Severe dizziness, or a cold sweat;
  • Chest pain, wheezing, and trouble breathing
  • Fast or slow heartbeats
  • Severe headache; blurred vision or pounding of the neck and ears; anxiety or confusion
  • Fainting, weak breathing, slow pulse

If you've had a heart attack or severe heart problem (congestive failure), a recent stroke, or a serious heart rhythm disturbance, your reaction may be worse.

Definity can cause the following side effects:

  • Headache, dizziness;
  • Flushing (warmth or redness);
  • Nausea;
  • Chest pain;
  • You may experience pain in your lower or side back.
  • At the site of an injection there may be pain, inflammation or irritation.

There may be other side effects. For medical advice about any side effects, speak to your healthcare provider; or report it by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


During the injection, serious side effects can occur. You should tell your doctor if your symptoms include feeling dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated, or short of breath. Other side effects may be headaches or chest pain. If you suffer from severe heart conditions (such as congestive heart disease, recent heart attacks, or a serious rhythm problem), your reaction may be worse.

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to Definity or polyethylene glycol, albumin is not recommended.

If you've ever:

  • A congenital heart defect;
  • A lung disease that recently became worse.
  • If you've ever experienced an allergic reaction to a transfusion,

Inform your doctor of any pregnancy or nursing.

How to take Definity?

The infusion of Definity into the vein is how it's administered. This injection will be given by a healthcare professional just prior to the echocardiogram. Definity is monitored for 30 minutes to ensure that you do not have an allergic reaction. You will be monitored for at least 30 minutes after receiving Definity to ensure you don't have an allergy reaction.

What happens if I miss the dose?

Definity will be given in conjunction with an echocardiogram. You won't have a normal dosing regimen.

What happens if I overdose?

Overdoses are unlikely because Definity is administered by healthcare professionals in a medical environment.

What should be avoided?

If your doctor prescribes any food- or activity-related restrictions for you, be sure to heed their directions.

Interaction with other drug

Definity may be affected by other drugs, such as vitamins and herbal products. Inform your doctor of all the medicines you are currently taking and those that you will begin or stop using.