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Iodoquinol Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to iodoquinol: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by iodoquinol. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking iodoquinol:

Less common:
  • Fever or chills
  • skin rash, hives, or itching
  • swelling of neck
With long-term use of high doses - especially in children
  • Blurred vision or any change in vision
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • decreased vision or eye pain
  • increased weakness
  • muscle pain
  • numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with iodoquinol may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Diarrhea
  • nausea or vomiting
  • stomach pain
Less common:
  • Headache
  • itching of the rectal area

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to iodoquinol: compounding powder, oral tablet


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and pruritus ani.[Ref]

Nervous system

Some neuropathy may be irreversible. Seizures and encephalopathy have been reported in at least one patient. Optic atrophy has been reported, generally in children being treated for acrodermatitis enteropathica at daily dosages between 1300 to 3600 mg for up to two years. Visual deterioration is generally irreversible.

Clioquinol, another hydroxyquinoline, was associated with several thousand cases of subacute myelo-optic neuropathy in Japan, leading to its removal from the market. This syndrome consisted of peripheral weakness, spastic paraparesis, dysesthesia, and optic neuropathy.

Because of the neurotoxicity associated with iodoquinol and its growing use in pediatric patients for the treatment of nonspecific chronic diarrhea in the 1970's, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs issued a statement recommending that products containing clioquinol or iodoquinol not be used in pediatric patients.[Ref]

Nervous system side effects have been reported rarely. These have included peripheral neuropathy and headache. Optic atrophy has been reported, generally in pediatric patients receiving large doses for long periods of time.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included acneiform papular or pustular skin eruptions, bulla, urticaria, and pruritus. These reactions are related to the iodine content of iodoquinol.[Ref]


Other side effects have included fever, chills, and enlargement of the thyroid.[Ref]


1. "Warning on diiodohydroxyquin." Med Lett Drugs Ther 16 (1974): 71-2

2. "Product Information. Yodoxin (iodoquinol)." Glenwood Inc, Tenafly, NJ.

3. Oakley GP Jr "The neurotoxicity of the halogenated hydroxyquinolines. A commentary." JAMA 225 (1973): 395-7

4. Fleisher DI, Hepler RS, Landau JW "Blindness during diiodohydroxyquin (Diodoquin) therapy: a case report." Pediatrics 54 (1974): 106-8

5. Fisher AK, Walter FG, Szabo S "Iodoquinol associated seizures and radiopacity." J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 31 (1993): 113-20

6. Pittman FE, Westphal MC "Optic atrophy following treatment with diiodohydroxyquin." Pediatrics 54 (1974): 81-3

7. American Academy of Pediatrics Committtee on Drugs "Clioquinol (iodochlorhydroxyquin, vioform) and iodoquinol (diiodohydroxyquin): blindness and neuropathy." Pediatrics 86 (1990): 797-8

8. Behrens MM "Letter: Optic atrophy in children after diiodohydroxyquin therapy." JAMA 228 (1974): 693-4

9. Committee on Drugs "Blindness and neuropathy from diiodohydroxyquin-like drugs." Pediatrics 54 (1974): 378-9

10. Idriss ZH "Letter: Diiodohydroxyquin and optic atrophy." Pediatrics 55 (1975): 299

Not all side effects for iodoquinol may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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