Povidone-Iodine (Topical)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Betadine Skin Cleanser [OTC]; Betadine Spray [OTC] [DSC]; Betadine Surgical Scrub [OTC]; Betadine Swab Aid [OTC]; Betadine Swabsticks [OTC]; Betadine [OTC]; ExCel AP [OTC]; GRX Dyne Scrub [OTC] [DSC]; GRX Dyne [OTC] [DSC]; Nasal Antiseptic [OTC]; NuPrep 5% Povidone-Iodine [OTC]; Operand Povidone-Iodine [OTC]; Operand Scrub [OTC]; PVP Prep [OTC]; Summers Eve Disp Medicated [OTC]

Brand Names: Canada

Betadine®; Proviodine

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.
  • It is used to treat vaginal irritation, itching, and soreness.
  • 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?

All dose forms:

  • If you have an allergy to povidone, iodine, 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 an animal bite or a deep puncture wound.
  • If you have a very bad burn or cut.


  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not use this drug if you are pregnant.
  • If you have belly pain, nausea, throwing up, fever, chills, sores on your genitals, or bad-smelling discharge. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you have just been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
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?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If signs get worse or last for more than 7 days, talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.


  • Use care when using on a large part of the skin. Talk with the doctor.
  • 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.

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:

All dose forms:

  • 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.
  • Very bad skin irritation.
  • Redness.


  • Very bad vaginal irritation.
  • Vaginal pain or swelling.
  • Fever or chills.

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:
  • Skin irritation.
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 products:

  • Wash hands before and after use.


  • Do not take this drug by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth and eyes (may burn).
  • Apply to clean dry skin.
  • Let dry before covering with clothing.
  • It may be covered with a bandage or dressing.


  • Do not take this drug by mouth. For vaginal use only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
  • Use vaginally.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Use 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 use 2 doses or extra doses.

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

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Protect from heat.
  • 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.

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.

Last Reviewed Date



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