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What Are the Most Common MRI Side Effects?

By Tara Barnett
Updated: Jun 04, 2024

Feeling drained after an MRI without contrast is not uncommon, as the procedure can be taxing both physically and mentally. According to a study published in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, some patients experience discomfort due to the prolonged stationary position required during the scan. 

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering notes that while MRIs are generally safe, the enclosed nature of the machine can lead to feelings of dizziness or fatigue in certain individuals. 

Although serious side effects are rare, with the American College of Radiology reporting that adverse reactions to gadolinium-based contrast agents occur in only 0.07% to 2.4% of administrations, it's important to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider to ensure the best possible experience during your MRI procedure.

Commonly, people experience MRI side effects that seem to be caused by the effects of magnetic resonance imaging but are in fact caused by lying very still for long periods of time. The dizziness and backaches reported by some patients are almost certainly caused by lying still on a hard surface for an hour or more. Fatigue after an MRI is often caused by the stress related to the taking of the images, which can be more tiring than is apparent during the procedure. MRI side effects such as headaches are often related to the loud noises one hears during an MRI and are more common for people who also experience migraines.

Some people experience mild MRI side effects usually resembling an allergic reaction when a contrast medium is used. Very serious MRI side effects can occur when a patient has severe kidney failure and is exposed to a contrast medium containing gadolinium. This side effect is a disease called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, which is incurable and sometimes fatal. It is relatively unlikely that one will experience this side effect, as renal failure is usually identified prior to an MRI involving gadolinium.

Very rarely, iron in the body will cause painful MRI side effects. Ferromagnetic objects can move forcefully from any position near an MRI machine. If they are inside the body, they can cause major harm to internal organs. A person with metal fillings in his or her teeth may feel slight tingling, but minor dental fixtures are usually not problematic for the procedure.

The most common side effect of an MRI appears to be an elevated sensitivity to possible health problems. An MRI machine is a stressful and often unfamiliar piece of technology, and many people become very concerned about sensations that would normally not be considered worrisome. Perceived tingling or dizziness that normally goes unnoticed or any sensation of pain becomes a source of major concern. The perceived possibility that there have been major side effects causes symptoms of panic as well. These side effects can be avoided by talking with a trusted doctor and recognizing that an MRI is a very safe procedure.

Experiencing a Headache After an MRI Scan

Some people experience headaches after receiving an MRI scan. There is no exact cause, and every situation is different, but various factors come into play.

If the patient develops a headache after the scan, it is not necessarily a direct side effect from the procedure itself but of the overall environment. During an MRI scan, the patient lies stationary on a table that moves and takes you into the machine. The narrowness of the machine and being closed in can make a person feel claustrophobic. Once the scan beings, you must stay as still as possible. So, between the worry of a possible health condition, focusing on staying still, and any discomfort you may feel are a recipe for a stress-induced headache coming your way.

The length of the scan can also affect how you feel afterward. Scans are typically 15 to 90 minutes long; it depends on the region of the body and the purpose of the scan. Therefore, a patient getting up after being on their back for an extended period can result in a headache when first standing up.

Another factor is the noise level in these machines, as they are loud while operating. The patient will hear a repetitive high-pitched clicking sound every time the MRI machine takes a picture. It can also sound like banging vibrations. For some, the noises along the way can stimulate a headache, too.

Headaches can develop from reasons directly involved with the procedure, and the contrast dye is the culprit.

Can Contrast From MRI Make You Sick?

Some patients do experience illness from the contrast dye used for MRI scans. Most of the side effects do not last long and are minor. The most common side effects are:

Some people can also have an allergic reaction to the dye. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Swelling
  • Throat tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives and itching

In some cases, if the patient has an underlying disease, the contrast dye can be more threatening as it will cause further damage to tissues or organs. The patient’s care team would manage this and perform a blood test to determine what is or is not safe and how to proceed with a scan.

Why do MRI Side Effects Like Dizziness Occur?

Dizziness is one of the most commonly felt side effects of MRIs. As previously mentioned, the symptom can develop from the overall process, but studies show that the strong magnetic field used for the scan could also be responsible. The magnet can affect the inner ear’s balance; it causes the same effect as what patients diagnosed with vertigo experience. In addition, if the patient leaves the table too soon, the dizziness enhances. The brain also needs to adjust to being back outside of the machine. Fortunately, the dizzy spell is short-term and does not cause future complications. Some patients may feel tired after their dizziness, but nothing some well-deserved rest can’t fix.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon1004638 — On Mar 19, 2021

Just adding another MRI horror story. When you have never done this before, they shouldn't just shove you into a tube, fail to answer any of your questions about whether you can take a break because the position is excruciating for your injury. Instead, they just talk over you and ignore your questions, increasing your stress and panic, then keep yelling at you for "not keeping still" because involuntary trembles happen due to the pain. Then they have to keep repeating tests because they blame you for the slightest uncontrollable movement due to the pain, then try to grab you by your injured limb to yank you out of the machine so they can shove the next patient in, not forgetting to again explain to you that you kept moving -and you tell them sorry for the umpteenth time, but it's involuntary due to the pain - and they just dismiss you like you are a dog at the veterinarian. Oh wait, but my dog was always treated much better than that! If you are going to have this procedure, please prepare yourself, know how to stay calm despite being shoved in a tube, in pain, and techs totally ignoring your questions, making you feel kind of terrified. Take your own ear plugs; take the wax ones for max effect.

By anon1004625 — On Mar 18, 2021

Had my first MRI Scan yesterday (UK). Felt all the nerves in the spine slowly heating up: warm only, not hot. The heat extended to my neck, where I have optic nerve problems at present, and it was quite beneficial for a short while after: the heat providing temp relief from aches and pains in neck & shoulders.

Today though I have numbness in mouth and lips. I did feel, on one part of the scan, energy surging through my teeth, especially lower jaw (quite odd, as if anything I'd have expected the upper jaw where I have a metal Post!) However, I'm wondering if this lower jaw issue may be because of two metal-type fillings in rear lower teeth, forming a sort of 'circuit'?

By anon1004226 — On Dec 15, 2020

I live in the UK. I had an MRI scan today for investigations regarding bad arthritic and spinal pain which does not respond to medication. I have had MRIs before, mainly in relation to epilepsy, without any trouble. I am a retired clinical psychologist and know a thing or two about whether I am relaxed or not! However, today I had the most horrendous pain in my back, lying supine, so that I was convulsed with tears and had to press the stop bulb half way through.

I could not cope with facing the second half of the scan requirement, but will be sent an appointment for completion under mild sedation. It seems odd that these reports are often from people who have had one or more scans before without difficulty. I have been back to my usual state since returning home and here's hoping that this will continue.

Staff and information to patients should not have to continue the myth that there is never any pain even if this is rare. More research is needed on this very serious and alarming state with unknown cause and outcome.

By anon1001634 — On May 26, 2019

I've had MRI's before but this last one I had was horrific. I was in the worst pain. I couldn't take it any longer and hit the stop button they give you. I couldn't move afterwards and they helped me sit up and still couldn't move. They turned me and put my legs over the bed and I couldn't move or walk. I was also crying and felt very strange. I will never have another one.

By anon1000533 — On Oct 13, 2018

I’ve had MRI’s before but don’t remember any problems. Yesterday, I had one without contrast for my lower back due to accident slammed from behind. I asked for an eye mask and ear phones for music. I started crying during the test for no reason and couldn’t stop.

I woke up during the night feeling strange in my body, like achy all over, so I took a prescription headache pill. Today, I was on the couch all day feeling dizzy and having diarrhea and very tired and sleeping on and off. I'm not going for any more MRI’s unless my life depends on it. I'm so glad I read this article and saw that other people had problems with this test also. Hope I get back to normal. Thanks everyone and hope you all feel better.

By anon1000303 — On Aug 13, 2018

I've had several MRI's over the years for one thing or another.

Recently my neurologist ordered an MRI of my cervical spine and right brachial plexus with and without contrast.

I am not claustrophobic and have never had any issues with my previous MRI's; however this time was different.

I have untreated hyperthyroidism and during the procedure I felt as though my thyroid was being moved and stretched in multiple directions.

I because very dizzy, nauseated, vomited and lost consciousness. Subsequently I was taken to the ER and a stroke alert was called. After spending two days in the hospital and undergoing a CT and two more MRI's, there was never a diagnosis.

Thousands of dollars later, I still feel no better and have no answers.

By TetianaMS — On Aug 07, 2018

I had a brain MRI yesterday. I went there by myself, however it was a huge mistake. There are a lot of different awkward noises inside of the machine, also sometimes you feel vibration or moves etc.. I don't know what, but there is something that made me cry really hard inside, I had no reason, however could not stop. when they got me off, I kept crying, shaking and felt very embarrassed and very thirsty. I drew myself home, however I do recommend to go there with someone who can take care of you! I was raised by military family, I don't have a thin skin, however this machine has the affect that you want someone to hug you and be able to cry on someone's shoulder. The following day I woke up extremely depressed. I had worse depression when I got my concussion few months ago, however this one is very bad as well. Also, my pupils hurt a lot and back of the head inside of the head. I took Advil and it helped with pain inside of the head, however my eye pupils...

just so you guys know what to expect after the examination.

By anon999303 — On Dec 01, 2017

I have had three MRIs of the brain with no issues, but yesterday, I had a cervical MRI and cervical and head MRIs. I was getting them done as I have neck problems including nerve pain, numbness, and temporary loss of motor function in one or both arms. A few minutes into the MRI, I started experiencing radiating pain in my left shoulder and then, it just exploded in intensity. I couldn't even tell whether or not I could move my fingers to squeeze the call button. All I could do was lie there and hope that it ended soon (I was like this for 45 minutes). Even the air blowing into the tube and on my hands and upper arms was excruciating. When the tech pulled me out, I told him that I was in extreme pain. He got me off the IV as quickly as possible and said it was possibly due to being immobilized in that position for too long. He was rattled, too. Helped me sit up, and had me rest a moment before helping me off the table and escorting me to the dressing room. I was pretty white and wild eyed when I glanced in the mirror of the dressing room. I don't know what the heck happened that was different this time, but I can honestly say that, having had nerve pain from C8 radiculopathy, it felt just like it. I don't know why I hurt during this one. It was the same machine as the last MRI but with the difference being the location of the MRI and a plate on my chest.

I will say that I never want another MRI again as it was horrifying. What I experienced was definitely not claustrophobia or fear of technology. I've had three MRIs previously along with a slew of other high tech tests. I'm pretty blase about all of it. I've never been claustrophobic in my life. Heck, I drove my mom crazy as a toddler by finding little tiny, confined places to hide in and play or nap. This pain hit out of nowhere, was a match for what I experienced that led me to this MRI, with the difference of not stopping until I was sitting up. Even the lab tech took it seriously and believed it was from being immobile in a poor position for too long as previously, he and I had been joking around about my medical history, tests and etc., so this article is pretty disingenuous in its last bit.

By anon998873 — On Sep 11, 2017

There's an interesting paper regarding the MRI that people should read before having one. There have been plenty of studies regarding the magnetic field on humans and so far the dangers seem to be very rare. I've had two and both times had the dizziness and a bout of bad stomach ache, but it's not as invasive as an X-ray. Plus, as long as you try and relax. It's hard, though, being in that tube.

By anon998788 — On Aug 26, 2017

I had a 3T MRI 10 days ago without contrast. I had a headache when I came out of the machine and everyday since then with mild nausea. Before the MRI I rarely had a headache and felt fine. My doctor doesn't seem to have a clue about this so I will just keep praying and believing God for my healing. LG

By anon998527 — On Jun 26, 2017

I had a MRI today for my neck and lower back. I have had three before with no problems, but this time was different for some reason. After the neck was done, I started to feel hot and thought I would throw up. The woman started the one on my lower back and about five minutes into it I could not take it anymore so I pushed the button. She took me out of it and I started to feel some better as I cooled off. I had to go back into it and do another 15 minutes to finish my lower back. I left and came home and have felt like hell ever since. I have never felt like this in my life and do not understand why this time it did this. Sure hope it does not last and I am back to myself after a good night's sleep.

By anon997851 — On Mar 08, 2017

Had an MRI yesterday and have increased energy and less pain today. My eyes are clear and I feel really good (First time in months)! In acute pancreatitis with digestion problems for three months now. This is a nice break!

By anon997751 — On Feb 23, 2017

I had an MRI yesterday on my neck and spine felt a little bit sick about five minutes before it finished ( 40 min session). It was very noisy and uncomfortable. After getting home, my middle finger and ring finger started to tingle and feel numb and it is sill numb today 36 hours after the scan. So an MRI can cause symptoms, especially the T3 high resolution scanner. If you think about it, every cell in your body contains blood, which contains iron, so the magnetism of the scanner must have an effect.

By anon997733 — On Feb 20, 2017

My husband went in for an MRI of his thoracic area because of having back pain. He had a scan done three months previously for the same thing, with no problems. They performed the MRI and the nurse came in and told him the technician did not like the pictures due to some movement occurring during scanning, and would need to do another scan.

About 10 minutes into the scan, he pushed the button and the nurse asked him if he was OK. He said no, it feels like you are cooking my insides. The nurse told him there was nothing cooking him and asked him, if he couldn't just hang in there for a few more minutes? He told her, well I guess. He told me of his experience on the way home.

Since then, he has experienced constant pain in his abdomen. He called the facility and spoke to the director, who in turn spoke with the MRI technician who said there was no heat produced by the scan. She said the only thing he could do was have another imaging done to check things out; otherwise there was nothing they could do. He is reluctant to have another scan but he is in so much pain he is getting depressed. We don't know who to talk to about this that would not be biased. But after doing some research and reading about the experience that others have had, there has to be something to this. Any information would be helpful.

By anon996047 — On Jul 01, 2016

I had an MRI scan done on my neck after a car accident and it was one of the most traumatic things I've ever gone through. I could literally feel waves of heat pulsing through me. I've never felt so much on the edge of losing my sanity.

After my MRI, I went home and the sound of car doors closing, my refrigerator running, anything that resembled the sound of the MRI made my chest tight, hard to breathe, and I would start sweating. I was diagnosed with anxiety and post traumatic stress following the scan. I was put on Cymbalta to stop me from panicking. It's almost been a year since the scan and I'm still on the anxiety meds.

I am a previous student of the Harvard Extension School, have no military background, no previous issues with anxiety, I was 26 years old and healthy prior to my MRI scan.

By anon995951 — On Jun 15, 2016

I had an MRI scan of orbits in February 2016 (~4 months ago) without contrast. In agreement with other comments, I am too annoyed that I was not warned of the long term side-effects.

As I sat up after the scan, I felt a pulling sensation in the top of my head. I was noticeably deaf and felt very 'off'. Later, my skin became hypersensitive, burning, welting and spotting blood when scratched or rubbed. A few hours later and I developed a 'sunburn' all over my body with intense burning sensation in the areas in the bore of the scanner.

I became so ill with a type of fever and sickness that I couldn't eat, narrowly avoided being admitted to go on a drip after anti-sickness tabs helped, and had to quit university just weeks before my finals.

Four months later, these symptoms continue. I live in constant pain and fatigue. It has ruined my life and is causing me significant trauma. I would not recommend having an MRI scan under any circumstances. You don't know how bad it can be until you are forced to live in torture each day.

By anon992818 — On Oct 05, 2015

Not a great article, and the comments demonstrate the lack of good information readily available about MRI side-effects. The three obvious sources of physiological perturbation are the static field, which has not been conclusively shown to have effects in humans, except when moving somewhat rapidly in or near the magnet; the rf - field, which has been shown to cause heating of tissue, so the rate of RF transmission in MRI is limited by FDA regulations, but modest heating of tissue still occurs; then there are the gradient fields, which are known to cause nerve stimulation because rapid switching and slewing of these fields induces current in conductive nerve fibers, and can cause tingling sensations, mild-muscle spasms, etc.

By anon992350 — On Sep 01, 2015

I had an MRI on my brain today and am experiencing symptoms similar to those described here. Not pain, but nausea, dizziness, and chest tightness. Right now I'm chalking it up to after-effects of stress hormones. I found the experience so horrific I'm sure I was pumping adrenaline and cortisol into my system like crazy. Hoping that's all it is.

By anon989621 — On Mar 14, 2015

I had an MRI of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis and was in the machine for over an hour. I was very scared at first. Mainly because I have steel rods in my hips. They assured me the rods were not magnetic. Well, I didn't cling to the machine so I guess they were right! After 30 mins I was getting very hot and sweaty so they turned on a fan. I felt better, but still it felt like the table was actually getting hot and my back and hands felt like they were on fire. They gave me contrast which was fine. When I was done, I was dizzy, and a bit loopy. They told me people feel loopy after this test because the magnet changes the order of the molecules in your body, and afterwords your body is trying to re-align the molecules back into the right order!

By anon978973 — On Nov 23, 2014

I have had several MRI procedures: for both knees, for back, for chest; and yes, laying very still on a hard surface on a narrow surface has caused temporary tension fatigue and possibly fleeting pain from being in an awkward position, and of course, the noise is loud enough to give you a headache but the interesting/surprising thing for me is that whatever pain I had, such as back pain or the pain in my knee has felt much better after the MRI.

I'm sure I am an anomaly but I would love to find out if there are others who actually have less pain and feel better after just the MRI procedure. Can an MRI lessen the pain in the affected area? Can it make an injury feel better?

By anon973335 — On Oct 10, 2014

Interesting to read the comments. I had an MRI of my lower back last night at 10 p.m. During the 20 minute procedure, I had no problems. I received no dyes or injections. Indeed, I expected to feel more claustrophobic, but there was a convenient fan blowing air through the tube, and I had ear protection on (plus, I'm a drummer, so loud percussive sounds are not really foreign to me).

During the longer "sessions" when the machine was imaging, I did feel heat where my back touched the table, through the towels/cloth. It was not painful, but felt like a heating blanket. It was actually a bit pleasant (given that I was having the MRI for back pain, and heat feels rather nice.)

I got up from the table, asked the technician a series of questions because the whole concept was new (and kind of interesting) to me and then drove home.

The next morning I awoke at a normal time, but I was quite dizzy. I didn't feel nauseated, but I stumbled to the bathroom and almost fell over while unloading the dishwasher. My symptoms were sufficiently bad and persistent (several hours,) to have me investigate if it was common for others.

I'm hardly a hypochondriac, and I hate admitting to health concerns, but I do feel relieved to hear that others have suffered some dizziness after the procedure. Real or perceived. It is now 4 p.m. the following day, and I'm feeling OK, but still not perfect.

By anon967473 — On Aug 27, 2014

I enjoy getting MRI's. I have had about three of them: one of my head for migraines, one of my leg when I tore the calf muscle and today, on my lower back from getting in a car wreck. They seem to relax me. I start to doze off within a few minutes but stay in a semi-awake floaty stage. All the joints that hurt and ache ease off and I feel tingly in those areas and my back gets warm. The only thing I hate is how even with a blanket, my arms and legs get cold.

By anon965394 — On Aug 11, 2014

I had an “open" MRI today, and I didn’t think it was all that “open.” Yes, you’re not in a tube, but you’re still in between two round donut things and it was still a little claustrophobic.

No one tells you about the different noises the MRI machine makes. For example, one noise is like a jackhammer; one is like a heart beating; one is a robotic deep voice repeating “taking a picture” over and over! You really have to pay attention to hear it, but you will hear it if you do.

My MRI was for a mass in my arm, and during and after the MRI the mass ached. For about an hour after the MRI, the mass ached worse than it ever had before!

I also felt a little nauseated after the MRI, but I believe this is from the loud noises the machine makes. Loud noises can cause nausea.

Lastly, I felt a lot of heating in the uterine area. I thought that was odd as I am menopausal.

By anon963587 — On Jul 30, 2014

Anyone still feeling this way?

By anon963456 — On Jul 29, 2014

I had an MRI yesterday on my brain and full thoracic spine. It made me motion sick for hours afterwards. I have always had motion sickness, even when I was a kid, and this is exactly how it felt.

I am guessing an MRI can upset the fluid in the inner ear, and more so maybe for those already susceptible.

If you're in the same boat and you feel sick, even after leaving the hospital, lying down seems to help. Also, try not to move your head around quickly or include to much visual input, like say, the TV, PC, etc.

Some people seem to report some other strange symptoms also, but those were not part of my experience, although I did also get extremely hot.

By anon959445 — On Jul 04, 2014

I had an MRI on my pelvic region. I thought I would be a big girl and do it, even though I was very nervous. It turned out to be the most horrific experience of my life!

I am a large woman and it was a tight fit. I had a sedative given to me first, but it did not help. I panicked some at first but then calmed down and went on with it with my eyes closed and arms up over my head, holding a stop button in my hand. The assured me they would stop when I pressed it, but they did not!

I spent nearly an hour in the machine and I got very hot and sweaty and felt like I could barely breathe and my arms were numb and going to sleep. I thought I was going to pass out before someone finally came and got me out! They wanted to do more "with contrast" that the doc ordered, but I said no more!

I was totally traumatized and cried all evening afterward! I even had to go to the ER that night for pain in my back! If I ever have another MRI it will have to be an open one.

By anon958350 — On Jun 26, 2014

Yesterday, I had an MRI done on my neck, and it took 21 minutes. I kept my arms down by my side, and my eyes closed and prayed the whole time I was in there.

Within the first five minutes, I could feel heat on the back part of my neck and radiating down to my shoulders. It wasn't painful, but I could definitely feel it. I just kept on praying to God to protect me and keep me safe and to send his loving angels to hold my hands and comfort me.

After the procedure was done and I was pulled out of the machine and opened my eyes, I realized that my sight was very blurry. I have moderately bad vision (nearsighted), but man, I had a really hard time seeing clearly until I got back into the dressing room and put my glasses back on, but, even with the glasses on, my vision was still very blurry for about an hour or two. I was a bit dizzy, but didn't experience any burning or any pain, thank goodness. This was about my third MRI, and I refuse to ever have one done again, not unless I have a brain tumor or cancer.

By anon954644 — On Jun 03, 2014

I had an MRI scan on my jaw area. Less than 48 hours later, my tongue started tingling and felt numb. Then the skin on the inside of my lower lip started to become sore. Over the next six weeks, all this worsened and my tongue swelled and I became sensitive to spicy or acidic foods where my lip would flare up red and sore and my tongue was extremely painful. It's nearly seven weeks later and this is still going on. the doctor said it is probably a virus or vitamin deficiency, but she didn't dismiss that the MRI could have been the cause.

By pamwagg — On Apr 26, 2014

I love MRI's -- the closer to my brain, the better. I am serious, I am not joking. Whenever I have had a brain MRI, I almost immediately started to float out of my body, one, and two, I experienced having synesthesia, where the sounds became visual and I could see the sounds and vibrations as distinctly different shapes.

MRIs regularly induce blissful states in me, so long as they are of my brain or near it. When I had an open MRI of my knee, I did not experience this, but a closed MRI of my left shoulder reliably induced a floaty, blissful state. I am sorry that MRIs seem to induce such fearsome and awful experiences for other people and I do not know why this is. I have had bad nausea with contrast mediums, but other than that, nothing bad ever happened that changed this bliss inducing experience I have nearly every time.

In fact, I wonder if I would also like Transcranial Magnetic stimulation, since I like the MRI so much, but I don't know.

By anon940287 — On Mar 18, 2014

I had an MRI brain scan at the ER. They shot me up or something while I was inside the machine, supposedly with ink. Then I woke up with my limbs feeling extremely cold and the rest of my body feeling an extensive rush, while still inside the machine. I couldn't tell them, "That's enough, that's enough." I didn't have a get me out button or anything, but my side effects are randomly rare. I thought I'd let you guys know.

By anon937490 — On Mar 05, 2014

I had an MRI done today for neck pain and difficulty swallowing. I had it with and without contrast. The one I had without contrast was fine. But when I had the contrast injected, I got this sick feeling in my stomach and started gagging and felt like I wanted to throw up.

The gentleman giving the MRI assured me I was O.K. and suggested that I take deep breaths and relax. Three hours later, I still feel sick to my stomach. Hopefully this feeling will pass after I get a good night's sleep.

By anon934959 — On Feb 23, 2014

I have had four MRI procedures and in each one my bones felt like they were on fire and I felt sick to my stomach.

By anon934253 — On Feb 19, 2014

I had an MRI on my brain last fall. A few hours afterward, my scalp was sweaty, but I wasn't sweating anywhere else on my body. Just on my scalp. Every so often now I have that happen, like right now. It's very strange. By the way, the scan showed no abnormality.

By anon934246 — On Feb 19, 2014

I had an MRI on my left shoulder in February. This was my second attempt at having one because the first attempt ended as soon as it began.

I had a an extreme hot flash as I was being inserted head first into the machine. I was told it would be cool while the procedure was being performed. I opened my eyes to see my nose almost touching the ceiling of the machine. I panicked and hit the Get Me Out button repeatedly.

This last MRI was in a roomier machine. For some reason, I couldn't stand the headphones on my head and opted for the ear buds. That machine was like someone was jackhammering on my invisible helmet! I almost pressed the panic button at one point because my shoulder was reacting weird. I was having spasms and bad cramping. Then the voice over the speaker said, " Two more tests. Four minutes to go," so I sucked it up and completed the test.

Let me just say it has been a week since the scan. My shoulder is still sore, as are my neck muscles leading up to my head, and feels like it has been in a contracted state since. I'm still waiting on the results of my test. Good luck.

By anon927291 — On Jan 23, 2014

I had an MRI this week. I was fine when I went in but when I came out I was really dizzy. I went and set in my car for a few minutes then took back roads home, just in case I had to pull off.

By the time I got home I almost fell in my kitchen I was so dizzy, sick at my stomach and not sure where I was even at. I have been lying down and slept now for three days. I am some better today, but still not 100 percent the same. Has anyone else had this happen? I did not have contrast and spent about 20 minutes in the tube. I am afraid this will leave me feeling like this. What is going on here?

By anon360156 — On Dec 24, 2013

I had an abdominal MRI/MRCP on a high-field 3T machine yesterday and regret that I had it done. I went in feeling well and now I am in pain.

The scan took about an hour. The first 30-40 minutes were fine, but at one point, I started feeling a pulling force, intense heat and growing burning pain in my internal organs with each new pulse/signal of the machine (when they tell you to hold your breath). All these sensations stopped during the last part of the scan when contrast was used.

Two days later I still have a burning pain in my abdomen that radiates to my back. I picked up my report today, which is fine, and talked to the radiologist. He dismissed me saying that MR technology doesn't generate heat. I don't know who to talk to now. I am very concerned about the level of damage that was done and short-term and long-term consequences.

By anon358888 — On Dec 13, 2013

I just had an MRI on my wrist today. It took close to an hour, as they said I kept moving, my wrist was strapped too tight and the circulation to my fingers was cut off. They had to start over again. The last eight minutes, I was getting very nauseated, sweating and had back and shoulder pain. When I got off the table I had a headache and felt disoriented. It took 20 minutes before I felt safe enough to drive to work. The headache is continuing this afternoon.

By anon354294 — On Nov 07, 2013

I am supposed to have an MRI today for a shoulder injury to see if I have a torn rotator cuff. I developed hives (unassociated with the shoulder problem yesterday and went to the doctor. He gave me prednisone and the hives seem to go away. However this morning I awoke to a whole new batch of hives in my extremities where they hadn't previously been. I am concerned if I should have the MRI today. Please advise.

By scotney — On Oct 29, 2013

I had my first MRI yesterday as I have a lump on my neck/cervical spine. Although the experience was a little claustrophobic and noisy, I didn't think it was too bad and I was only in the machine for about 30 minutes.

Not sure if what I experienced afterwards was due to the MRI or not, but I did come over feeling very nauseated in the evening and went to bed early, only to wake up a couple of hours later being sick. Apart from that and a little initial dizziness, my MRI was OK.

Has anybody else been sick after one of these examinations?

By anon352439 — On Oct 22, 2013

I've had quite a few MRIs over the past five years for severe back problems. The next to last one I had took an hour and 15 minutes. My arms were crossed. I kept getting shocks between my hands and half way through, my insides felt like they were heating up. I had ho problems afterward.

I just had another for my neck. Again, half way through, I started feeling like my insides were heating up. Then, with my eyes closed, I started seeing bright flashes in my eyes. It was getting worse. I was about to hit the panic button when it ended. I got up, very, very dizzy and didn't know how to leave the building. I was lost.

They showed me the main entrance and I went to my truck and sat for a while until I got my composure back. For the next few days I would see the flashing on and off, then it finally ended. The technician said from time to time they got reports of the shocking between hands when placed on the chest. After this last one, I never want to do it again.

By anon347900 — On Sep 11, 2013

I had an MRI in March 2013 for my shoulder. I had been taking medications for a week before the test (65 mg iron (325 mg ferrous sulfate a day), (naproxen 500mg), (cyclobenzaprine 10 mg), (tramadol hcl 50 mg), (ic omeprazole dr 20mg), (ic atorvastatin 80 mg) and (nitrostat 0.3 mg mix) resulting in an impacted stool. I weigh 220 pounds and the mri was for my shoulder.

They wrapped a strap around my waist to hold the square lead to my shoulder and put towels on my side so I wouldn't get burned and put me in the tube. I may have crossed my legs when the machine went on.

I felt intense heat in my belly area and pressed the button to get out. I told them what I felt. They said they didn't know what I meant. It's gotten worse and I can't eat or drink and have terrible gas pains they think I'm nuts.

I think I had internal (rf) heating from the crossed legs and the meds with the iron. I was fine until I had the MRI. Can someone find out and help me? I've lost 40 pounds since then and I'm getting weaker and dehydrated no matter how much I drink and eat, which is very painful. This is no joke. I have a family and they need me.

By anon347360 — On Sep 06, 2013

I just had an MRI about 12 hours ago yesterday night and this morning I woke up feeling very uncomfortable, stressed and fatigued. Anyone else feel the same?

By anon347090 — On Sep 03, 2013

I had an MRI scan of my hand yesterday and I got red sore eyes afterwards too (but do not wear contacts).

I was told it was highly unlikely I could get this from a scanner. It could be the pillow they gave me to lie on that has given me conjunctivitis!

By anon338053 — On Jun 10, 2013

I had an MRI on Friday and I was wearing my contacts. I was not asked or told not to wear them and when I came out, my eyes were extremely red and sore. Also, I experienced pain in my body. I was there for 45 minutes. Finally, I think it did something to my period. I was supposed to start on Friday and I am like a clock but although I have had some spotting and cramps, it has not come yet. There are no chances of me being pregnant, just in case you are wondering. Anyway, I thought I would share.

By anon332686 — On Apr 30, 2013

I had an MRI this morning for pain in my neck that I have had for many months. I did not need any type of dye used. But, after I got home I had soreness in my ribs. As the day has gone on I also have a very sore back. My MRI only took about 20 minutes so the cause of any pain should not be because of being on the MRI table for a very long time. I take it that the procedure is a little like being hit over and over with pulse waves. Hope tomorrow I feel better.

By anon330182 — On Apr 15, 2013

I have had an MRI on my knees and ankles. I am always experiencing a hot, burning feel. Today I had an MRI on my back for scoliosis, which is bothering me worse after hip replacement and knee surgery for a meniscus tear. I had tears falling down my face during the procedure. When it got to my lower back, the hot, burning sensation got so intense I wanted to scream. Is it just me, or does this procedure cause a heating of the body part that is injured to get so flipping hot, it feels like a burn?

By anon317861 — On Feb 04, 2013

It can cause permanent loss of taste and smell. I would recommend never having a brain MRI unless you are potentially fatal and going into surgery anyway.

My case is rare. I was put through the MRI with no hearing protection, and told after I shouldn't have had my hands on my abdomen. It is unclear if my disability was caused by the sound, heat, electrical shock zapping through my head and jumping across my finger tips, or the magnetic shifting of fragile brain cells (even though this was a month after full recovery).

By anon317388 — On Feb 02, 2013

I got my first MRI four days ago, with contrast, in my shoulder. I had the first migraines of my life, that lasted four days -- in the back of my head. I had to go to the ER last night. I thought I was going to have a stroke, it hurt so bad. What?

By anon313036 — On Jan 10, 2013

I am also disappointed that no serious clinical or epidemiological investigations seem to have been conducted on pain during and after MRIs, with any complaints being written off by medical professionals as "perceived" or psychological.

I have no aversion to small spaces, am perfectly happy to lay flat and still for long periods and even pride myself on a high pain threshold. Furthermore, I have no problem with the varying, persistent and loud "techno music-style" thumping that accompanies the MRI process.

My 30 minute MRI (brain scan) this morning was excruciatingly painful. As different series of imaging was conducted (as indicated by the pauses and changes in emitted sounds), the pain migrated to different areas. These ranged from throbbing in my temples, sharp pains in my neck running down my left arm to my thumb, pain in my chest, severe nausea (so much so that, at one point, I had to announce out loud that I thought I would vomit) to pulsing/throbbing in my eyes (which persisted for two hours after the MRI) and pain in my jaw. I actually called out in pain more than once.

The amused medical technicians, gently laughed when they came in and said "Oh dear, it was just in your head, there are no side effects". This was before the contrast injection (after which I endured another 15 of the "painless" MRI).

Still shaking, I went home as quickly as possible to take a nap and just awoke a few minutes ago to itchy hives all over my body.

Given my potential diagnosis bringing about the MRI in the first place, of course, I needed to do it. However, I think it is negligent for medical professionals to write this off and, had someone prepared me in advance (i.e. stating that an extremely small proportion of the population experiences pain from this procedure), I would have been able to handle the whole thing a lot better.

There are countless testimonials online of MRI patients experiencing similar events. Medical professionals need to be a bit more professional about this sort of thing and not write us off as wackos. Of note (to me anyway), this is the first time in my life I have ever posted anything on the internet.

By anon307941 — On Dec 08, 2012

I had an MRI this afternoon for neck/shoulder and arm pain. It lasted only about 20 minutes and within the last 10 minutes I started feeling extreme muscle pain in my neck/shoulder and arm. Also, my arm felt warm at first but in the last 10 minutes it started burning. The noise didn't bother me. I had my eyes closed the whole time so I wasn't feeling closed in. No contrast dye was used.

It was not caused by lying there very long, since the whole procedure took 20 minutes. The MRI was 10 hours ago and I'm in more pain now than I was before I went in. Please don't call this "perceived" pain. Some people actually do have true pain during and after this procedure.

By anon130055 — On Nov 26, 2010

I am alarmed by the effects of an MRI I had yesterday. Burning ears, brain numbness, feeling vague, and like my brain had been 'cooked'. I am now notably more deaf. My ears ache.

I am upset that there is no really good investigation of the side effects I can be referred to. No professional warned before hand of what to expect or what the procedure entailed. If I had known I would not have had it done.

This was prescribed for investigation of a shoulder injury. My whole body went in to the scanner when I had thought I was just having my shoulder examined only. I am extremely upset and angry that I was not informed before hand of the dangers involved. H.Ross

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