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Histamine- Diagnostic ()

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Histamine- Diagnostic ()


Histamine (HISS-ta-meen) is used to help diagnose problems or disease of the stomach. This test determines how much acid your stomach produces.

How the stomach test is done: Before this medicine is given, the stomach contents are emptied through a tube. Then the dose of histamine, which is based on body weight, is injected under the skin. Five minutes later, the stomach contents are emptied and tested for acidity. This procedure may be repeated several times. An antihistamine medicine may be given before the histamine is injected to prevent a possible unwanted effect.

Histamine is to be used only under the supervision of a doctor. It is available in the following dosage form:


    • Injection (Canada)

Before Having This Test

In deciding to use a diagnostic test, any risks of the test must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. Also, test results may be affected by other things. For histamine, the following should be considered:


Tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.


Studies have not been done in either humans or animals.


It is not known whether histamine passes into the breast milk. However, histamine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.


There is no specific information comparing the use of histamine in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of histamine in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving histamine, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

    • Antacids or

    • Anticholinergics (medicine for abdominal or stomach spasms or cramps) or

    • Cimetidine (e.g., Tagamet) or

    • Famotidine (e.g., Pepcid) or

    • Nizatidine (e.g., Axid) or

    • Omeprazole (e.g., Prilosec) or

    • Ranitidine (e.g., Zantac)-These medicines decrease the effect that histamine has on the production of stomach acid, and the test may not work

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of histamine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

    • Heart disease-Histamine's effect on the heart may make the condition worse

    • High blood pressure (severe) or

    • Low blood pressure-Histamine may increase the high blood pressure further or lower an already low blood pressure

    • Kidney disease (severe)-The histamine may build up in the body and cause side effects

    • Lung disease (especially asthma)-There is a chance that this test may make the condition worse; for example, an asthma attack may occur

    • Pheochromocytoma-Histamine may cause serious damage to the brain and blood vessels.

Preparation for This Test

Your doctor may ask you to avoid certain medicines before the histamine test is done. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully . Otherwise, this test may not work and may have to be done again.

Do not eat anything for twelve hours before the test , unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Having food in the stomach may affect the interpretation of the test results.

Precautions During This Test

Do not swallow saliva during the test. The saliva may affect the results of the test.

Along with its needed effects, histamine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; fast or pounding heartbeat; headache (continuing or severe); nervousness.

Less common or rare

Convulsions (seizures); difficulty in breathing; flushing or redness of face.

With large doses

Bluish coloration of face; blurred vision; chest discomfort or pain; decrease in blood pressure (sudden); diarrhea (severe); difficulty in breathing (severe); nausea and vomiting (severe).

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects should go away as the effects of the medicine wear off. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Abdominal or stomach spasms or cramps; diarrhea; metallic taste; nausea or vomiting; stomach pain; swelling or redness at place of injection.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

August 01, 2001

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