Potassium iodide

Generic Name: potassium iodide (poe-TAS-ee-um EYE-oh-dide)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Take potassium iodide only as recommended. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or take potassium iodide more often than recommended. Taking too much of potassium iodide may increase the risk of side effects. Do NOT take potassium iodide if you are allergic to iodine.


Potassium iodide is used for:

A dietary supplement, as directed by your health care provider.

Potassium iodide is a dietary supplement. It works by supplying additional iodine to the body.

Do NOT use potassium iodide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in potassium iodide or to iodine
  • you have high blood levels of urea or other nitrogenous substances (azotemia), certain skin or blood vessel problems (dermatitis herpetiformis, hypocomplementemic vasculitis), decreased urination (oliguria), or high blood potassium levels
  • you have abnormal growths on the thyroid gland (nodular thyroid disease) and you have heart disease

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: The Shocking Truth About Antibiotic Resistance

Before using potassium iodide:

Some medical conditions may interact with potassium iodide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems
  • if you have a history of thyroid problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with potassium iodide. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Lithium because the risk of hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels) may be increased
  • Aldosterone blockers (eg, eplerenone), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, captopril), potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, spironolactone), or potassium supplements because the risk of serious side effects, including high blood potassium and irregular heartbeat, may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if potassium iodide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use potassium iodide:

Use potassium iodide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Follow your health care provider's instructions for taking potassium iodide.
  • Do not use potassium iodide as an everyday supplement.
  • Take potassium iodide by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you miss a dose of potassium iodide, take it as soon as possible. If you are instructed to take more than 1 dose of potassium iodide and it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do NOT take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use potassium iodide.

Important safety information:

  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose, or take potassium iodide more often or longer than recommended. Taking too much of potassium iodide may increase the risk of serious side effects.
  • Do not use a salt substitute or a potassium supplement without checking with your doctor.
  • Stop taking potassium iodide and contact your health care provider if any of the following signs of iodine poisoning occur: burning of the mouth or throat, severe headache, metallic taste in the mouth, soreness of the teeth and gums, irritation of the eyes with swelling of the eyelids, or increased salivation.
  • Potassium iodide should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 18 years; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Potassium iodide may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking potassium iodide while you are pregnant. Potassium iodide is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you take potassium iodide, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of potassium iodide:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; mild fever; mild headache; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing, speaking, or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the feet, hands, mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; wheezing or shortness of breath); chest pain; confusion; fever with joint pain; irregular heartbeat; metallic taste in the mouth; mouth sores; numbness or tingling of the hands or feet; swollen glands in the mouth (salivary glands).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include burning of the mouth or throat; chest pain; increased salivation; irregular heartbeat; muscle weakness; severe headache; soreness of the teeth or gums; swelling.

Proper storage of potassium iodide:

Store potassium iodide at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep potassium iodide out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about potassium iodide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Potassium iodide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take potassium iodide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about potassium iodide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to potassium iodide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using potassium iodide.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Hide
(web5)
Close