Potassium Iodide Tablets
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These provide thyroid protection due to nuclear accidents and emergencies.
In 1982, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved potassium iodide to protect thyroid glands from radioactive iodine involving accidents or fission emergencies. In an accidental event or attack on a nuclear power plant, or in nuclear bomb fallout, volatile fission product radionuclides may be released. Of these products, 131I is one of the most common and is particularly dangerous to the thyroid gland because it may lead to thyroid cancer. By saturating the body with a source of stable iodide prior to exposure, inhaled or ingested 131I tends to be excreted, which prevents radioiodine uptake by the thyroid. The protective effect of KI lasts approximately 24 hours. For optimal prophylaxis, KI must be dosed daily until a risk of significant exposure to radioiodine by either inhalation or ingestion no longer exists.
Emergency 130 milligrams potassium iodide doses provide 100 mg iodide (the other 30 mg is the potassium in the compound), which is roughly 700 times larger than the normal nutritional need (see recommended dietary allowance) for iodine, which is 150 micrograms (0.15 mg) of iodine (as iodide) per day for an adult.
Potassium iodide cannot protect against any other causes of radiation poisoning, nor can it provide any degree of protection against dirty bombs that produce radionuclides other than radioisotopes of iodine. See fission products and the external links for more details concerning radionuclides.
|Age||KI in mg per day|
|Over 12 years old||130|
|3 – 12 years old||65|
|1 – 36 months old||32|
|< 1 month old||16|