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Generic name: ioflupane I-123
Drug class: Diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals

Medically reviewed by  A Ras MD.

What is DaTscan?

DaTscan is a medicine that is used before a brain scan.


DaTscan [Ioflupane I 123 Injection] is a sterile, pyrogen-free radiopharmaceutical for intravenous injection. The clear and colorless solution is supplied in single-dose vials in which each milliliter contains 0.07 to 0.13 mcg ioflupane, 74 MBq (2 mCi) of iodine 123 (as ioflupane I 123) at calibration time, 5.8 mg acetic acid, 8.2 mg sodium acetate and 0.05 mL (5%) ethanol. The pH of the solution is between 4.2 and 5.2. Ioflupane I 123 has the following structural formula:

Chemical Structure

Mechanism of Action

The active drug substance in DaTscan is N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-[123I]iodophenyl)nortropane or ioflupane I 123.

In vitro, ioflupane binds reversibly to the human recombinant dopamine transporter (DaT) (Ki = 0.62 nM; IC50 = 0.71 nM). Autoradiography of post-mortem human brain slices exposed to radiolabeled ioflupane shows concentration of the radiolabel in striatum (caudate nucleus and putamen). The specificity of the binding of ioflupane I 125 to dopamine transporter was demonstrated by competition studies with the DaT inhibitor GBR 12909 (a dopamine reuptake inhibitor), the serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram, and the norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor desipramine in post-mortem human brain slices exposed to radiolabeled ioflupane.

Citalopram reduced binding in the neocortex and thalamus with only minor effects in the striatum. This indicated that the binding in the cortex and thalamus is mainly to the serotonin reuptake sites. Desipramine showed no effect on the level of striatal binding of ioflupane I 125, but reduced extrastriatal binding by 60 to 85%. The binding of ioflupane I 125 to the striatum was abolished in the presence of high concentrations of GBR 12909, indicating selectivity of ioflupane binding for the pre-synaptic DaT.

Following administration of DaTscan to humans, radioactive decay of the iodine 123 emits gamma radiation which can be detected externally using gamma detectors, allowing visualization of the brain striata through SPECT imaging

Before taking DaTscan, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to DaTscan; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed after getting DaTscan for as long as your doctor has told you.

This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take DaTscan with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take DaTscan?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take DaTscan. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Unsafe allergic effects may rarely happen.
  • This medicine is radioactive. You will need to follow what the doctor has told you to lessen being exposed to DaTscan.
  • Some other drugs and health problems may cause false results of the test DaTscan is being used for. There are many drugs and health problems that can do this. Ask the doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • A drug to protect the thyroid gland will be given to you. Take it as you have been told. If this is not done, the chance of thyroid cancer later in life may be raised. Talk with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using DaTscan while you are pregnant.

How is DaTscan best taken?

Use DaTscan as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as a shot into a vein.
  • You will need to empty your bladder often after the test is over as your doctor has told you.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids before the test and for at least 48 hours after the test as your doctor has told you.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are the side effects of DaTscan that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

What are some other side effects of DaTscan?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out DaTscan?

  • If you need to store DaTscan at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.




  • GE Healthcare
    NDC 17156-210-01
  • DaTscan™
    Ioflupane I 123 Injection
  • Ioflupane I 123 185 MBq (5 mCi) in 2.5 mL
    at calibration
  • Radiopharmaceutical for Intravenous Injection.
  • Single-Dose Vial
  • Rx ONLY
  • VOLUME: 2.5 mL
    74 MBq/mL
    (2 mCi/mL)
  • CALIB.
  • CALIB.


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