Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-1278/2021
  • Departments: Radiology
  • Last Updated: 1 July 2021


This advice sheet has been produced to give you information about Buscopan, which is used in some MRI scans to stop muscle spasms from blurring the pictures. It is not meant to replace discussion between you and your doctor.  If after reading it, you require further explanation, please discuss this with medical team caring for you.

Buscopan is given as a small injection into a vein, usually in the arm or wrist. Muscle spasms are a natural part of the action of the gut (intestine) and some other parts of the body.  Without Buscopan the MRI scan can still be done, but the pictures from the scan might show less detail than your doctor would like.

Buscopan belongs to a group of medicines called ‘antispasmodics’.

You should not take Buscopan if:

  • You are allergic to any of its contents
  • You have glaucoma (an eye problem)
  • You have megacolon (a very enlarged bowel)
  • You have myasthenia gravis (a rare muscle weakness problem)
  • You have a very fast heart rate
  • You have difficulty or pain passing water (urine) such as men with prostate problems
  • You have gut blockage problems or a totally inactive gut
  • You have pyloric stenosis (a very narrow opening from the stomach to the gut)
  • You are Pregnant, likely to get pregnant or Breastfeeding

You should discuss with staff in the department before having Buscopan if:

  • You are under 18 years old
  • You have any heart problems or angina
  • You have any blood pressure problems
  • If you have any thyroid problems
  • If you are taking any medicines, including over the counter or herbal medicine


Like all medicines, Buscopan can have side effects.  Less than 1 in 10 people will get:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased heart rate
  • Constipation

More rare side effects have been known:

  • Small blisters on hands and feet
  • Being unable to pass water (urine)
  • Low blood pressure, for example feeling faint
  • Flushing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased fluid pressure inside the eye
  • Allergic reactions such as skin rash, nettle rash, redness of the skin and itching.

If you have any of these symptoms whilst in the department, please see a member of staff. If you have symptoms later on and normal over the counter remedies do not help, please go to see your GP or walk in centre.

Seek immediate medical treatment if you have either of these rare complications:

  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) such as difficulty breathing, feeling faint or dizzy (shock)
  • Painful red eye with loss of vision. Buscopan can cause this in people with undiagnosed glaucoma.

Even if you have no known problems with your heart or blood pressure, we will take your heart rate and blood pressure before giving you Buscopan.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this advice sheet, please do not hesitate to contact the MRI Department on telephone number: (01482) 674080

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

QR code to open leaflet