GENERIC NAME: sodium iodide I 131
BRAND NAME: Sodium Iodide I 131 Therapeutic, Hicon
DISCONTINUED BRAND: Iodotope
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Sodium iodide I 131 is an oral medication used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) and some cases of thyroid cancer. It falls under the category of an anti-thyroid drug but differs from the other anti-thyroid drugs, propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole (Tapazole), because it is radioactive. Sodium iodide I 131 is taken by mouth, readily absorbed into the body and is trapped within the thyroid gland. The trapped sodium iodide I 131 irradiates the thyroid gland thereby damaging it. As a result, the activity of the thyroid gland (that is, the production and release of thyroid hormone) is reduced. Excess sodium iodide I 131 is eliminated from the body in the urine by the kidneys. The sodium iodide retained in the body loses most of its radioactivity over several weeks. The half-life of the radioactivity is eight days. The FDA approved sodium iodide I 131 in August 1971.
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