potassium iodide

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is potassium iodide-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Potassium iodide is a iodine-containing liquid that is used to protect the thyroid gland and to loosen secretions in the lungs (expectorant) so that they can be more easily coughed up (expectorated). Procedures that involve the use of radioactive iodine can damage the thyroid gland because the gland accumulates iodine. Non-radioactive potassium iodide can protect the thyroid gland by blocking uptake of radioactive iodine into the thyroid gland. Potassium iodide works as an expectorant by increasing secretion of thinner mucus by the lungs.

What brand names are available for potassium iodide-oral?

SSKI, Pima syrup, ThyroSafe, ThyroShield.

Is potassium iodide-oral available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for potassium iodide-oral?


What are the side effects of potassium iodide-oral?

Common side effects of potassium iodide are stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, weakness, numbness, fever, and swelling of throat or neck.

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