Generic Name: Iodine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is iodine used for?

Iodine reduces thyroid hormone and can kill fungus, bacteria, and other microorganisms such as amoebas. A specific kind of iodine called potassium iodide is also used to treat (but not prevent) the effects of a radioactive accident.

How should I take iodine?

Take iodine by mouth as directed. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens or if you develop new symptoms. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away.

How do I store iodine?

Iodine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store iodine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of iodine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush iodine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using iodine?

Side effects include:

Oral/Topical: Hypersensitivity reactions (urticaria, angioedema, cutaneous haemorrhage, purpura, fever, arthralgia, lymphadenopathy, eosinophilia); goitre, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Iodism on prolonged use (metallic taste, increased salivation, swelling and inflammation of throat, swollen and irritated eyes, pulmonary oedema, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea).

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Is it safe to take iodine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you:

  • Are allergic to Iodine
  • Have acute bronchitis

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of iodine?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category D. (A=No risk, B=No risk in some studies, C=There may be some risk, D=Positive evidence of risk, X=Contraindicated, N=Unknown).

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with iodine?

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

  • Acenocoumarol
  • Anisindione
  • Dicumarol
  • Phenindione
  • Phenprocoumon
  • Warfarin

Does food or alcohol interact with iodine?

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

What health conditions may interact with iodine?

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bronchitis or
  • Other lung conditions—Use of strong iodine may make this condition worse
  • Hyperkalemia (too much potassium in the blood) or
  • Kidney disease—Use of strong iodine may increase the amount of potassium in the blood and increase the chance of side effects

Understand the Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Iodine for an adult?

Preoperative reduction of vascularity of the thyroid gland
Adult: As potassium iodide: 50-250 mg orally (approx 1-5 drops of a solution containing 1 g/ml) three times a day for 10-14 days before surgery.

Radiation protection against radioactive iodine
Adult: As potassium iodide: 100-150 mg orally 24 hr before procedure and daily for up to 10 days after procedure.

Cutaneous or lymphocutaneous sporotrichosis
Adult: As potassium iodide solution containing 1 g/mL: Initially, 1 mL orally three times a day, should continue for at least 1 mth after disappearance or stabilisation of the lesions.

Iodine deficiency disorders
Adult: As iodised oil (poppyseed/peanut/rapeseed oil containing about 38% w/w or 480 mg/ml of iodine): 400 mg iodine orally once yrly. Pregnant patient: 200 mg iodine as a single dose. Moderate to severe: 300-480 mg iodine each yr or 100-300 mg iodine every 6 mth and for at least 1 yr postpartum.

Thyroid storm
Adult: As potassium iodide: Up to 500 mg orally every 4 hr.

Iodine deficiency disorders
Adult:  As iodised oil (poppyseed/peanut/rapeseed oil containing about 38% w/w or 480 mg/ml of iodine): Up to 45 yr: 380 mg iodine, as single intramuscular doses to provide adequate protection from iodine deficiency for up to 3 yr. Pregnant patient: Moderate to severe: 480 mg iodine each yr.

Minor, superficial skin wounds
Adult: Topical/Cutaneous: As 2% or 2.5% solution/ointment: Apply small amount to the affected area 1-3 times daily.

Cleaning wet ulcers and wounds
Adult: Topical/Cutaneous: As 0.9% topical gel: Apply to clean wound. Max: 50 g/application and 150 g/wk. Change dressing about 3 times/wk and reduce applications as exudate decreases. Do not use for >3 mth and stop treatment when wound is free of exudate.

What is the dose of Iodine for a child?

Preoperative reduction of vascularity of the thyroid gland
Child: As potassium iodide: 50-250 mg orally (approx 1-5 drops of a solution containing 1 g/ml) tid for 10-14 days before surgery. As strong iodine solution: 0.1-0.3 ml (or approx 3-5 drops) tid.

Grave’s disease
Child: Neonates: 1 drop of strong iodine solution orally every 8 hr.

Radiation protection against radioactive iodine
Child: As potassium iodide: Infants from birth to 1 mth with a predicted thyroid exposure of ≥5 centigrays (cGy): 16 mg orally . >1 mth to 3 yr with a predicted thyroid exposure of ≥5 cGy: 32 mg orally. >3 yr to 18 yr (except adolescents approaching adult size) with a predicted thyroid exposure of ≥5 cGy: 65 mg orally. Do not exceed once-daily doses.

Cutaneous or lymphocutaneous sporotrichosis
Child: As potassium iodide: Initially, 250 mg orally (approx 5 drops of a solution containing 1 g/ml) three times a day. Max: 1.25-2 g (approx 25-40 drops) orally three times a day. Duration: 3-6 mth.

Iodine deficiency disorders
Child: As iodised oil (poppyseed/peanut/rapeseed oil containing about 38% w/w or 480 mg/ml of iodine): Infants up to 1 yr: Single dose of 100 mg iodine orally; 1-5 yr: 200 mg iodine orally; >6 yr: 400 mg iodine orally.

Iodine deficiency disorders
Child: As iodised oil (poppyseed/peanut/rapeseed oil containing about 38% w/w or 480 mg/ml of iodine): 380 mg iodine, as single intramuscular doses to provide adequate protection from iodine deficiency for up to 3 yr. Infants up to 1 yr: 190 mg iodine, as iodised oil (480 mg/ml iodine).

Minor, superficial skin wounds
Child: Topical/Cutaneous: As 2% or 2.5% solution/ointment: Apply small amount to the affected area 1-3 times daily.

Cleaning wet ulcers and wounds
Child: Topical/Cutaneous: As 0.9% topical gel: Apply to clean wound. Max: 50 g/application and 150 g/wk. Change dressing about 3 times/wk and reduce applications as exudate decreases. Do not use for >3 mth and stop treatment when wound is free of exudate

How is iodine available?

Iodine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Solution, Oral: Potassium iodide: 100 mg/mL and iodine 50 mg/mL

Solution, Topical: Potassium iodide: 100 mg/mL and iodine 50 mg/mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of iodine , take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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