How to Prepare for the Urea Breath Test

For accurate test results, you must fast and avoid certain medicines before the test. You can reduce false results by eliminating these items prior to the test.

For Optimal Preparation

  • FAST for at least one (1) hour before the test. This means that you consume no food and drink only water prior to the test.
  • Phenylketonuric patients should avoid the test. Active ingredient is mixed with aspartame and contains 84 mg phenylalanine per dosage unit. (For reference, 12 ounces of typical diet cola soft drinks contain approximately 80 mg of phenylalanine).
  • Avoid proton pump inhibitors including Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Protonix, Aciphex, and Dexilant within two (2) weeks prior to the urea breath test.
  • Avoid antibiotics two (2) weeks prior to the urea breath test.
  • Avoid bismuth preparations (Pepto Bismol) within two (2) weeks prior to the urea breath test.
  • Do not test before four (4) weeks after H. pylori treatment.

What can you take before the test

  • Prior to testing, the patient may take H2 antagonists (Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, Axid) or Antacids (Tums, Rolaids, Maalox).

Most Common Breath Collection Errors

  • Not re-capping the breath collection bag properly. The white cap must snap in place.
  • Administration of Pranactin-Citric solution before collecting the baseline breath sample.
  • Consumption of food, beverages, or smoking during the 15-minute breath collection interval.

Potential Complications of the Urea Breath Test

During post-approval use of the urea breath test, the following adverse events have been identified: anaphylactic reaction, hypersensitivity, rash, burning sensation in the stomach, tingling in the skin, vomiting and diarrhea. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

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