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.

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GENERIC NAME: Potassium iodide

BRAND NAME: SSKI, Pima syrup, ThyroSafe, ThyroShield.

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: 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.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

PREPARATIONS: Tablet: 65 and 130 mg. Solution: 65 and 325 mg/5 ml. Concentrated Solution: 1 g/ml

STORAGE: Potassium iodide should be stored between 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F). The solution should be kept in a tightly closed bottle protected from light.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Potassium iodide is commonly used to protect the thyroid gland from injury due to radiation. Potassium iodide also is used as an expectorant in acute and chronic pulmonary diseases with excessive mucus.

DOSING:

Adults and children over 12 years of age and weight 150 lbs or greater:

  • Prevention of thyroid gland injury due to radiation: 130 mg by mouth once dailywith a maximum of one dose per day.
  • Expectorant: 300 – 600 mg by mouth every 6 to 8 hours.

Children:

Prevention of thyroid gland injury due to radiation:

  • Infants of less than 1 month: 16.25 mg by mouth once daily. Maximum one dose per day.
  • Infants of 1 month to children of 3 years of age: 32.5 mg by mouth once daily. Maximum one dose per day.
  • Children of 3 to 12 years of age: 65 mg by mouth once daily. Maximum one dose per day.

Expectorant: 60 – 250 mg by mouth every 6 hours.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Potassium iodide should not be given together with sodium iodide I-131 (radioactive iodide) that is being used to treat thyroid disease, because potassium iodide can prevent the absorption of sodium iodide I-131 into the thyroid gland. Potassium iodide should be discontinued at least 3 to 4 days prior to using sodium iodide I-131.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/6/2014
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