Do MRI scans require Sedation?

  • Share this:
Do MRI scans require Sedation?

Let’s Discover: Do MRI scans require Sedation? 


The most applicable answer to your question would be – An MRI scan does not require sedation or anesthesia. But, sometimes, when healthcare providers want to ease out the process for certain patients, an MRI scan may involve sedatives!

It is because sedatives can relax patients during the radiology test & thereby help fetch an accurate examination of your internal body parts! The requirement for sedatives varies from one patient to another and lay given only in a recommendation from a doctor.

Sedation during a radiology test is all the same as sedatives given during a wisdom teeth removal or maybe during surgery!

Can you not wait to know how & when sedatives lay given during an MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging Test? Start discovering down the line!

When does an MRI scan involve sedatives?

  • This MRI scan involves sedatives when the patient is claustrophobic and may not be able to cope with the MRI process inside the semi-enclosed scanner for so long.
  • A Magnetic Resonance Imaging  scan involves sedatives when the patient has anxiety, stress, or depression and may end up having a panic attack during the test.
  • An MRI scan involves sedatives when the patient has a painful sensation or discomfort from loud noise and cannot bear the potential loudness caused by the MRI machine.
  • This MRI scan involves sedatives when the patient undertakes interventional radiology, i.e., the diagnostic process lay used to guide a minor or major surgery and minimize discomfort & risk of complications.
  • An MRI scan involves sedatives to calm patients, particularly children & adolescents, who are too restless & cannot remain still for even some time when up-taking the diagnostic test.
  • This MRI scan involves sedatives when it lay conducted for stroke treatment.

What are the factors considered while conducting an MRI with sedatives?

  • Age & Development stage of the patient.
  • Estimated time required to conduct the specific MRI procedure.
  • Size of the patient and distribution of their height & weight.
  • Level of discomfort expected during the scan.
  • Past diagnostic history of the patient.
  • Type of sedative required for the particular patient.

What are the different types of sedations applicable in an MRI test?

There exist three different types of sedatives that may stand applicable during an MRI test & they are –

  • Minimal Sedation, where your mood is likely to change, and your body is likely to relax during the scan,
  • Conscious Sedation, where you remain in your reflexes even though you feel sleepy during the scan, and
  • Deep sedation or anesthesia, where you tend to go into a state of unconsciousness during the scan!

What are the different ways through which sedatives are given during an MRI scan?

Herein, sedatives are given during an MRI based on the definite types mentioned above!

  • Sedation may be administered orally during an MRI scan. It means you have to consume or intake a pill or liquid before the scanning process starts!
  • Sedation may be administered through intravenous medication. It means the sedatives shall be inserted into your veins through an IV needle before the scanning begins!
  • Sedation may be administered via inhaling. It means that you have to take an inhaler containing a sedative before the scan, or the sedative may be applied to a clean cloth that, when pressed over your nose, would be automatically inhaled.
  • Sedation may also be given in the form of an injection. It means the sedative would lay injected into your blood by inserting a needle into any of your body parts before you go into the MRI scanner.

Are there any side effects of sedatives?

Yes. Various side effects may pop up after undertaking an MRI with sedatives! Some of the common side effects are –

  • Nausea or a sensation of vomiting,
  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness,
  • Dizziness or drowsiness,
  • Headache or body aches,
  • Fever & Chills,
  • Lower body temperature,
  • Upset Stomach,
  • Sore throat,
  • Skin rashes or allergies,
  • Persistent skin itching,
  • Redness near the area of intervention,
  • Pain near the area of intervention,
  • Trouble breathing,
  • Difficulty urinating, and so forth!


These side effects do not escalate to any major health syndrome and are likely to go away on their own; within a few hours. Typically, sedatives during an MRI may leave side effects for about two to three hours after the scan. But, sometimes, depending on the patient’s immunity, the side effects may stay up to 24 hours!

How to prepare for an MRI scan with sedatives?

First & foremost, the basic preparation, or in other words, the preparation required for a normal MRI scan without a sedative, remains intact even when sedatives lay given. That’s true!

  • Patients have to leave all jewelry & piercings at home.
  • You can’t wear any makeup as it may contain metal contents.
  • Patient cannot apply deodorants or antiperspirant sprays before an MRI scan.
  • You cannot wash your hair before an MRI scan & have to either do so much earlier or delay it until the test stands complete.
  • You have to wear loose & comfortable clothes for the MRI scan.
  • Patients can’t get a new piercing or tattoo a week before your MRI scan.

Apart from these,

There lay some additional preparation for you to take while you opt for an MRI scan with a sedative. They are as follows!

  • You have to follow the eating & drinking instructions laid out by your doctor. You may have to fats for some hours before up-taking the test. The duration of fasting may vary, and you have to stick to what your doctor quotes because she knows what is best for you!
  • You have to inform your doctor regarding the regular medications you intake if any. Your doctor may suggest you not take medicine, especially over-the-counter painkillers, before undertaking an MRI with a sedative!
  • If you are a diabetes patient, it is crucial for you to get finger-stick glucose before the MRI test.
  • If you are pregnant & seek the MRI with a sedative to check the growth of your unborn baby, you will have to give a urine sample before pursuing the MRI scan with a sedative.

Final Thoughts:


The bottom line is sedation requirement is not mandatory for an MRI scan but may be given from time to time, depending on your health condition & other factors. You cannot undertake an MRI with sedatives just for the sake of trying something new & exciting! Trust me; it is not!

In case you are taking a self-referred MRI scan, you will not be allowed to take sedatives in the first place.


On top of that, all you would do herein is invite health syndrome, even though nominal.

You can call us at 8699572364

5 1 vote
Article Rating

About author
Hi, I am Alka Tiwari, Founder & Patient Care Executive at Helping you get the diagnostics scans services like MRI, CT Scan, UltraSound & PET Scan, etc at the best price. At MRIChandigarh's blog, I will be writing to create awareness and to educate you about how and where to get diagnostic scans done in Chandigarh at the best price with best-in-class services.
View all posts (221)
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Opening Hours

  • Monday - Sunday 24 Hours

Get in Touch

MRI Chandigarh - Best MRI Scan Centre in Chandigarh for all MRI, CT Scan and PET Scans. Get most comfortable MRI scan at best price with free pick and drop facility in tricity.

    Alka Tiwari

    Alka Tiwari
    Typically replies within few minutes

    Alka Tiwari
    Hi there 👋

    How can I help you?
    Chat with Us
    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x