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Potassium Iodide


Related terms
Author information


    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: iOSATT [OTC];SSKI®;ThyroSafe® [OTC];Thyroshield® [OTC]

    • It is used to treat an overactive thyroid gland.
    • It is used to stop thyroid cancer from radiation.
    • It is used to thin mucous so it can be taken from the body by coughing.
    • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
    • It lowers the release of thyroid hormone.
    • It stops the thyroid gland from taking in radioactive iodide when exposed to radiation.
    • It raises fluids in the lungs and thins mucous so they may be taken from the body.


    How to take

    • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • Liquid (solution/syrup):
    • Take with water, milk, or juice.
    • Do not use if it turns brownish-yellow.
    • Expectorant:
    • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
    • Radiation exposure:
    • Take this drug only when told by public health officials.
    • Take once a day until the chance of being exposed to radiation ends.

    Missed Dose

    • 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 take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.


    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
    • Protect from light.



    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.


    • If you have an allergy to potassium iodide or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have any of these health problems: Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), high potassium levels, or kidney disease.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.


    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • If you have lung disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have myotonia congenital or TB (tuberculosis), talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • If you are taking a blood thinner, have your blood work checked. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Use birth control that you can trust to stop pregnancy while taking this drug and for 1 month after stopping this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
    • Have your baby's thyroid checked if you are using this drug and breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Rash.
    • Bad taste in your mouth. This most often goes back to normal.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Feeling tired or weak.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • A fast heartbeat.
    • Flu-like signs.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Very bad swelling.
    • Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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