What Are Some Tips to Help Prepare for a Cardiac Nuclear Stress Test?


Quick Answer

To prepare for a nuclear stress test, wear comfortable shoes with nonskid soles and comfortable clothing, explains MedlinePlus. In some cases, the person is asked to not eat or drink after midnight the night before the test, but water sipping is allowed if medications are needed.

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Full Answer

A person scheduled for a nuclear stress test also must prepare for the test by avoiding caffeine for at least 24 hours before the test, claims MedlinePlus. This includes drinking coffee and tea, chocolate, pain relievers that may contain caffeine and all sodas, even those labeled caffeine-free. There are also some medications that may interfere with a nuclear stress test, so a doctor may ask a patient to prepare by not taking medications for a couple of days. However, a person should not stop or change the way medication is taken without first talking to a doctor.

During the nuclear stress test, a person may feel fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath and muscle cramps, according to MedlinePlus. If given medication known as a vasodilator drug, the injection may sting, then feel warm. Some may also experience nausea, a shortness of breath or racing heartbeat. If a person feels heart palpitations, dizziness or chest discomfort during the test, he should inform the person performing the test immediately.

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