How to Prepare for Your Nuclear Stress Test

When you schedule your nuclear stress test, you will get the following instructions:

  • Don’t eat or drink after midnight before your appointment day, except for water or clear liquids.
  • No smoking, no coffee or other drinks and food that have caffeine at least 12 hours before your stress test.
  • If you have diabetes and take insulin or other medication for your diabetes, do not take your morning dose, but do bring your insulin or diabetes pills with you.
  • Let your doctor know of any prescription drugs for your heart and/or high blood pressure. They’ll let you know if you should make any changes.
  • Bring a list of all the medications you are taking.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and walking or running shoes.
  • Bring a picture ID, your health insurance card, and your doctor’s referral form for your stress test.
  • For women, if you might be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, please tell the staff in nuclear medicine.

Some other things to keep in mind are:

  • Make sure to get a good night’s sleep.
  • You can bring your choice of music on CD or cassette tape to listen to while we do your scan.
  • You must bring a snack with you to eat at the hospital after your stress test.
  • If you can’t make your appointment, please call us as soon as possible.
  • If you have family members or someone with you, they can wait in the nuclear medicine waiting room, hospital lobby, or cafeteria.