Potassium Iodide

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

SSKI; ThyroShield [OTC]

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to prevent thyroid cancer from radiation.
  • It is used to thin mucus so it can be taken from the body by coughing.
  • It is used to aid diet needs.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to potassium iodide or any other part of this drug.
  • 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.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Certain skin or blood vessel problems.
  • If you have a growth on your thyroid gland and you have heart disease.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
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 this drug 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 this drug?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before using a salt substitute.
  • Take this drug only as you have been told. Do not take more than you were told to use or more often then you were told to take it. Taking too much of this drug may raise the risk of side effects. Do not take this drug if you are allergic to iodine.
  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
  • Have your baby’s thyroid checked if you are using this drug and breast-feeding.

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:
  • 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 or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Trouble swallowing or speaking.
  • Wheezing or coughing.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fever and joint pain.
  • Neck swelling.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Very bad headache, metal taste, sore teeth and gums, burning of the mouth or throat, eye irritation, eyelid swelling, more spit, or skin irritation.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

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 any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Belly pain.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
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 your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All liquid products:

  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug.

Liquid (drops):

  • Take this drug with food or milk.
  • Mix liquid with water, milk, or fruit juice before drinking.
  • Do not use if it turns brownish-yellow.
  • 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.
  • You may make a liquid mixture using the tablet. Crush the tablet and mix it with water as told. It is then to be mixed with low fat white or chocolate milk, infant formula, orange juice, flat soda, or raspberry syrup. The mixture may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

What do I do if I miss a 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.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Liquid (drops):

  • Protect from cold.

General drug facts

  • 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. If you have any questions about this drug, 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.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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