Potassium Iodide and Iodine
(poe TASS ee um EYE oh dide & EYE oh dine)
- Iodine and Potassium Iodide
- Lugol's Solution
- Potassium Iodide/Iodine
- Strong Iodine Solution
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.
Generic: Potassium iodide 10% and iodine 5% (8 mL)
Generic: Potassium iodide 10% and iodine 5% (14 mL, 473 mL)
Generic: Potassium iodide 5% and iodine 7% (30 mL, 480 mL)
- Antiseptic, Topical
- Antithyroid Agent
In hyperthyroidism, iodine temporarily inhibits thyroid hormone synthesis and secretion into the circulation; use also decreases thyroid gland size and vascularity. Serum T4 and T3 concentrations can be reduced for several weeks with use but effect will not be maintained.
Following radioactive iodine exposure, potassium iodide blocks uptake of radioiodine by the thyroid, reducing the risk of thyroid cancer.
Onset of Action
Hyperthyroidism: 24-48 hours; Peak effect: 10-15 days after continuous therapy
Use: Labeled Indications
Reduce thyroid vascularity prior to thyroidectomy and management of thyrotoxic crisis; block thyroidal uptake of radioactive isotopes of iodine in a radiation emergency or after therapeutic/diagnostic use of radioactive iodine
Hypersensitivity to iodine or any component of the formulation; iodine-induced goiter; dermatitis herpetiformis; hypocomplementemic vasculitis; nodular thyroid disease with heart disease
Antiseptic: Topical: Apply directly to area(s) requiring antiseptic.
RDA: 150 mcg (iodine)
Preparation for thyroidectomy (off-label use): Oral: 5-7 drops (0.25-0.35 mL) 3 times daily; administer for 10 days before surgery; if not euthyroid prior to surgery, consider concurrent beta-blockade (eg, propranolol) in the immediate preoperative period to reduce the risk of thyroid storm (Bahn, 2011)
Thyrotoxic crisis (off-label use): Oral: 4-8 drops every 6-8 hours; begin administration ≥1 hour following the initial dose of either propylthiouracil or methimazole (Nayak, 2006)
Thyroid gland protection during radiopharmaceutical use (off-label use): Oral: 20 drops 3 times daily has been recommended (Bexxar® prescribing information, 2012)
Note: Initiate 1-48 hours prior to radiopharmaceutical exposure and continue after radiopharmaceutical administration until risk of exposure has diminished (treatment initiation time and duration is dependent on the radiopharmaceutical agent used, consult specific protocol or labeling.
Refer to adult dosing.
Thyrotoxic crisis (off-label use): Oral: 4-8 drops 3 times daily; begin therapy preferably 2 hours following the initial dose of propylthiouracil or alternatively, methimazole (Eyal, 2008)
Dosing: Renal Impairment
No dosage adjustment provided in manufacturer’s labeling.
Dosing: Hepatic Impairment
No dosage adjustment provided in manufacturer’s labeling.
Apply topically directly to area(s) requiring antiseptic. Has also been used orally (off-label route).
Store at room temperature of 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F). Protect from light and keep container tightly closed.
ACE Inhibitors: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of ACE Inhibitors. Monitor therapy
Aliskiren: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Aliskiren. Monitor therapy
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy
Cardiac Glycosides: Antithyroid Agents may increase the serum concentration of Cardiac Glycosides. Monitor therapy
Eplerenone: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium Salts. Management: This combination is contraindicated in patients receiving eplerenone for treatment of hypertension. Consider therapy modification
Heparin: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium Salts. Monitor therapy
Heparin (Low Molecular Weight): May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium Salts. Monitor therapy
Lithium: Potassium Iodide may enhance the hypothyroid effect of Lithium. Monitor therapy
Nicorandil: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium Salts. Monitor therapy
Potassium-Sparing Diuretics: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium-Sparing Diuretics. Consider therapy modification
Sodium Iodide I131: Antithyroid Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Sodium Iodide I131. Management: Discontinue antithyroid therapy 3-4 days prior to sodium iodide I-131 administration. Avoid combination
Theophylline Derivatives: Antithyroid Agents may increase the serum concentration of Theophylline Derivatives. Exceptions: Dyphylline. Monitor therapy
Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): Antithyroid Agents may diminish the anticoagulant effect of Vitamin K Antagonists. Consider therapy modification
Iodide may alter thyroid function tests.
Frequency not defined.
Cardiovascular: Irregular heart beat
Central nervous system: Confusion, tiredness, fever
Dermatologic: Skin rash
Endocrine & metabolic: Goiter, salivary gland swelling/tenderness, thyroid adenoma, swelling of neck/throat, myxedema, lymph node swelling, hyper-/hypothyroidism
Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, metallic taste, nausea, stomach pain, stomach upset, vomiting
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Numbness, tingling, weakness, joint pain
Miscellaneous: Chronic iodine poisoning (with prolonged treatment/high doses); iodism, hypersensitivity reactions (angioedema, cutaneous and mucosal hemorrhage, serum sickness-like symptoms)
Concerns related to adverse effects:
• Hypothyroidism: Prolonged use can lead to hypothyroidism.
• Skin reactions: Can cause acne flare-ups and/or dermatitis.
• Adrenal insufficiency: Use with caution in patients with Addison's disease.
• Bronchitis: Use with caution in patients with acute bronchitis.
• Cardiac disease: Use with caution in patients with cardiac disease.
• Myotonia congenita: Use with caution in patients with myotonia congenita.
• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment.
• Thyroid disease: Use with caution in patients with a history of hyperthyroidism; use is contraindicated in nodular thyroid conditions with heart disease.
• Tuberculosis: Use with caution in patients with tuberculosis.
Concurrent drug therapy issues:
• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.
Thyroid function tests, signs/symptoms of hyperthyroidism; thyroid function should be monitored in pregnant women, neonates, and young infants if repeat doses are required following radioactive iodine exposure
Pregnancy Risk Factor
D (potassium iodide)
Iodide crosses the placenta (may cause hypothyroidism and goiter in fetus/newborn). Use for protection against thyroid cancer secondary to radioactive iodine exposure is considered acceptable based upon risk:benefit, keeping in mind the dose and duration. Repeat dosing should be avoided if possible. Refer to Iodine for additional information.
• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)
• Patient may experience skin rash. Have patient report immediately to prescriber severe abdominal pain, severe nausea, severe vomiting, or diarrhea (HCAHPS).
• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.
Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.