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Potassium Iodide and Iodine

Generic Name: Potassium Iodide and Iodine (poe TASS ee um EYE oh dide & EYE oh dine)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 25, 2019.

Uses of Potassium Iodide and Iodine:

Skin solution:

  • It is used to prevent skin infections.

Oral solution:

  • It is used to prevent thyroid cancer from radiation.
  • It is used to treat an overactive thyroid gland.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Potassium Iodide and Iodine?

All products:

  • If you have an allergy to potassium iodide, iodine, or any other part of potassium iodide and iodine.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

Oral solution:

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with potassium iodide and iodine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take potassium iodide and iodine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Potassium Iodide and Iodine?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take potassium iodide and iodine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using potassium iodide and iodine while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Skin solution:

  • This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If potassium iodide and iodine is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.

Oral solution:

  • If potassium iodide and iodine is taken by accident, get medical help right away.
  • Have your baby's thyroid checked if you are using potassium iodide and iodine and breast-feeding.

How is this medicine (Potassium Iodide and Iodine) best taken?

Use potassium iodide and iodine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

Skin solution:

  • Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
  • Put on the affected part as you have been told.

Oral solution:

  • Mix with water or juice as you have been told and drink.
  • If you get potassium iodide and iodine in the eyes or on the skin, rinse with water.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Skin solution:

  • This medicine is used on an as needed basis. Do not use more often than told by the doctor.

Oral solution:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

All products:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Oral solution:

What are some other side effects of Potassium Iodide and Iodine?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Potassium Iodide and Iodine?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about potassium iodide and iodine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.