Potassium iodide is a salt composed of the minerals potassium (K) and iodine (I). Its chemical formula is “KI”.
Potassium iodide is a medication and, when used properly, can help protect the thyroid from radiation exposure caused by a nuclear emergency.
During a nuclear emergency, radioactive iodine can be released into the air. Radioactive iodine can negatively affect the thyroid gland and increase the risk of thyroid problems, including cancer.
Potassium iodide contains non-radioactive iodine, which may reduce the risk of thyroid damage. However, you should only take it in an emergency and not as a daily supplement.
Read on to find out how potassium iodide works, who should use it, and when you might need to use it.
Potassium iodide protects the thyroid gland by blocking the absorption of radioactive iodine. This is known as thyroid blocking with iodine.
When you take potassium iodide, your thyroid becomes saturated with non-radioactive iodine. This causes your thyroid to “fill up”.
As a result, your thyroid will not be able to absorb iodine for the next 24 hours. Excess iodine, whether non-radioactive or radioactive, is excreted in the urine. This may help reduce the risk of thyroid cancer due to radioactive iodine.
It is important to note that potassium iodide only protects your thyroid. According to the data
In addition, potassium iodide does not protect against external radiation or other radioactive compounds.
Potassium iodide is used during nuclear accidents. You should only take it when health officials explicitly say so.
To protect your thyroid, you must take potassium iodide for a certain period of time. According to
The risk is higher in children and infants. As a result, children and infants are likely to need to take potassium iodide. It is safe for these age groups when taken at the correct dose.
In an emergency, public health officials will determine the age groups that should take the medicine.
When taking potassium iodide, it is very important to take the exact recommended dose. According to
- Infants 1 month of age and younger: 16 milligrams (mg)
- Children older than 1 month and up to 3 years: 32 mg
- Children over 3 years old and up to 12 years old: 65 mg
- Adolescents aged 12 to 18: 65 mg
- Adults aged 18 and over: 130 mg
- People who are pregnant or breastfeeding: 130 mg
You should never take potassium iodide more often than directed. It will not provide additional protection. Taking too much potassium iodide can lead to severe illness or death.
Potassium iodide is not an “anti-radiation” supplement. You should never use it as a preventive measure against radiation exposure. You should only use it during or after expected exposure and only as directed by health authorities.
Potassium iodide will only work if you take it at the right time and in the right dose. Continuous use in the absence of risk of radiation exposure can lead to serious complications.
In certain situations, other than nuclear emergencies, healthcare professionals may prescribe potassium iodide for conditions such as severe hyperthyroidism and inflammatory skin dermatoses, or to protect the thyroid when using radiopharmaceuticals.
People with low iodine intake can also use it as a
When taken properly, potassium iodide is unlikely to cause side effects. The benefits of protecting the thyroid during nuclear exposure outweigh the potential risks.
If side effects occur, they may include:
- mild allergic reaction
- skin rash
- stomach upset
- swollen salivary glands
- metallic taste in the mouth
- burning in the mouth and throat
- sore teeth and gums
Potassium iodide is available without a prescription. You can order it from online stores that specialize in emergency preparedness products.
In the event of a nuclear emergency, local health officials will distribute potassium iodide to the public. You can also find potassium iodide at:
- fire and police stations
- evacuation centers
- city or town halls
Your local news channels and radio stations will indicate where you can get this when needed.
Again, only take potassium iodide if you have been exposed to radiation and have been specifically advised to take it by medical professionals.
Potassium iodide is a medication that can help protect your thyroid during radiation emergencies. It contains non-radioactive iodide, which your thyroid gland absorbs. This prevents the absorption of radioactive iodine, potentially reducing the risk of thyroid cancer.
it is important to take potassium iodide only as directed by local health officials and only at the recommended dose. Potassium iodide is not a daily supplement and does not provide additional protection when taken more frequently.
If you have questions or concerns about potassium iodide, check with your doctor. They can provide personalized advice for you and your family.