Does Radioactive Iodine Have Any Benefit
Some thyroid conditions require an immediate slowing of the hormone production. In situations like this, a minuscule amount of Iodine-131 can be used to slow thyroid hormone production. While this may seem counterintuitive, the amount of iodine used is very, very small. It is used only in emergency situations, and it’s only administered in medical settings. You’re not going to get it from the corner drugstore and administer it yourself.
Where Can Iodine Tablets Be Found
In Germany, the federal states are responsible for the storage and distribution of iodine tablets. Depending on the federal state, the high dosage iodine tablets are either stored in the immediate vicinity of a nuclear power plant, are distributed to all households in advance or are stored locally, for example at town halls or local fire stations.
In addition, over 180 million iodine tablets are stored at various locations across Germany. Should an incident occur, these tablets are handed out to the population at fire stations, town halls, pharmacies or well-known polling stations.
After an accident citizens are promptly requested by authorities via different media to collect their tablets at these points of issue. Please consult your civil protection authority for organisational information and details of planned procedures.
When Should You Take Potassium Iodide Pills
Only take potassium iodide if state or local health authorities suggest you do so. During an emergency, health officials will send out an announcement. Your health department will then tell you when itâs OK to take potassium iodide. Theyâll also tell you when you can stop the medication.
Youâll take potassium iodide before or right after youâre exposed to radioactive iodine. You could also take it 3 to 4 hours after, but it wonât be as effective.
Itâs important to take the medication once a day until the risk of radiation exposure no longer exists. Donât take larger amounts or extra doses unless experts recommend to. A larger amount of potassium iodide wonât protect you more from radioactive iodine. Too much of the medication could put you at a higher risk for side effects.
Guidance is slightly different for everyone:
Infants and young children. Newborns and children are most at risk for a thyroid injury from radioactive iodine. Those with low amount of iodine in their thyroid are also likely to have thyroid damage.
Because of this, itâs important to give children, especially newborns, potassium iodide during an emergency.
People who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Itâs also crucial that pregnant and breastfeeding individuals take the proper dose of potassium iodide to protect themselves and their baby.
Young adults. This group is less sensitive to the potential damage from radioactive iodine. But itâs still important for them to take the medication.
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Making A Potassium Iodide Liquid Mixture:
1. Put one 65 mg KI tablet into a small bowl and grind it into a fine powder using the back of a metal teaspoon against the inside of the bowl. The powder should not have any large pieces. 2. Add 4 teaspoons of water to the crushed KI powder in the bowl and mix until the KI powder is dissolved in the water. 3. Take the KI water mixture solution made in step 2 and mix it with 4 teaspoons of low fat white or chocolate milk, orange juice, flat soda, raspberry syrup, or infant formula. 4. The KI liquid mixture will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. It is recommended that the KI liquid mixtures be prepared weekly. Throw away unused portions. The amount of KI in the drink when mixed as described above is 8.125 mg per teaspoon. The number of teaspoons of the drink to give your child depends on your child’s age as described in the following table:
|Give your child this amount in teaspoons
|Over 12 to 18 years old who weigh less than 150 pounds
|8 teaspoons will give you a 65 mg dose
|Over 3 to 12 years old
|8 teaspoons will give you a 65 mg dose
|Over 1 month to 3 years old
|4 teaspoons will give you a 32.5 mg dose
|Birth to 1 month
|2 teaspoons will give you a 16.25 mg dose
Note: This is the amount to give your child for one single dose in teaspoons . You should give your child one dose each day as recommended by the public officials.
How And When To Take Potassium Iodide
KI should be taken as soon as possible after public officials tell you. If you are told to repeat the dose, you should take the second dose 24 hours after the first dose. Do not take it sooner. More KI will not help you because the thyroid can “hold” only certain amounts of iodine. Taking more than 1 dose per day will increase the chances of side effects. The public officials will tell you how many days to take KI. You should take KI until the chances of major exposure to radioactive iodine by breathing or swallowing stops.
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Criteria For Considering Studies For This Review
Types of studies
The review intends to cover a broad spectrum of research questions that are not necessarily assessed in randomized clinical trials . Thus, non-randomized studies will be included in the review. More specifically, the following experimental and observational study types will be covered:
- Surveys, e.g., pharmacoepidemiological studies
Types of participants
Participants included in studies are either the general population or workers. No further specification is feasible. The literature search is limited to evidence from studies in humans.
Types of interventions
The interventions to be evaluated arise from the objectives as outlined above.
The following intervention is considered:
- Stable oral iodine/potassium iodine administration in the general population exposed to external ionizing radiation or radioactive iodine in the environment.
Types of outcome measures
The review will include studies that report the following outcome measures:
- Prevalence and incidence of radiation-induced thyroid cancer,
- Prevalence and incidence of radiation-induced hypothyroidism,
- Prevalence and incidence of radiation-induced benign thyroid nodules, and
- Mortality from radiation-induced thyroid cancer .
Thyroid Protection After Nuclear Accidents/events
KI was approved by the FDA in 1982 to protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine released accidentally from nuclear power plants or during a nuclear attack. In these events, many radionuclide products may be discharged to the atmosphere. Of these products, I131 is one of the most common, and it is particularly dangerous to the thyroid gland.1
Doses of 130 mg KI provide 100 mg iodide, which is roughly 700 times greater than the normal nutritional need for iodine of 150 mcg per day for an adult. The KI in iodized salt is insufficient for this use, as 80 tablespoons would be needed to equal one tablet. See TABLE 1 for the recommended FDA dosing regimen for humans.2 KI cannot protect against any other causes of radiation poisoning or against radionuclide other than radioisotopes of iodine.
Dosing Equivalency:For protection of the thyroid against I131 contamination, the convenient standard 130-mg KI pill is used, if available. As noted, the equivalent two drops of SSKI may be used for this purpose if the pills are not available.
Protecting Effect:When KI is administered simultaneously with radiation exposure, the protective effect is approximately 97%. KI given 12 and 24 hours before exposure yields a 90% and 70% protective effect, respectively. However, KI administered 1 and 3 hours after exposure results in an 85% and 50% protective effect, respectively. KI administered more than 6 hours after exposure is thought to have a negligible protective effect.4
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Data Extraction And Management
Data extraction will be performed by two authors independently. In case of any disagreement, the opinion of a third author will be decisive. We will use a modified data extraction and assessment template from the Cochrane Public Health Group . Previous to the major data extraction process, the authors will pilot the data extraction form to ensure a standardized extraction. We will extract general information , study eligibility , and study details .
Data will be assembled and inserted into RevMan 5.3 by one author.
Explainer: How Iodine Tablets Block Some Nuclear Radiation
The war in Ukraine has heightened fears about nuclear exposure and interest in iodine pills that can help protect the body from some radiation
NEW YORK — The war in Ukraine has heightened fears about nuclear exposure and interest in iodine pills that can help protect the body from some radiation.
Concerns have grown in recent weeks over periodic power cuts to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant that have increased the risk of a meltdown. And threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will use all means necessary to win the war in Ukraine has raised the specter of nuclear warfare.
Some countries in Europe have started stockpiling the tablets and pharmacies in Finland began to run low on the pills after that country’s health ministry recommended households buy a single dose in case of emergency.
But what are iodine pills? And what can they do and what can’t they do in the case of a nuclear leak or attack?
Potassium iodide, or KI, offers specific protection against one kind exposure. It prevents the thyroid a hormone-producing gland in the neck from picking up radioactive iodine, which can be released into the atmosphere in a nuclear accident.
This radioactive material can increase the risk of thyroid cancer if it gets into the body, for example by breathing it in or eating contaminated food. Its especially dangerous for children, and its health risks can last for many years after exposure, according to the World Health Organization.
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Will Potassium Iodide Pills Protect Me From Contaminated Food
If radioactive iodine is released from a nuclear power plant during a major emergency, eventually that airborne material will settle out onto the ground. If the radioactive iodine settles out onto pasture, for example, which is then consumed by animals, the animals can ingest the radioactive iodine into their bodies. People who then consume the animal or products from that animal could take in radioactive iodine and be further at risk from the radioactive iodine.
Administration of potassium iodide at thyroid blocking doses is generally only performed in the short-term to protect personnel from exposure to radioactive iodine when it is airborne, during the timeframe when there is a chance for persons to breathe in the radioactive-iodine-contaminated air. This period would generally last only about 24-48 hours.
Protection of people during the later stages of the response to such a nuclear emergency, including the response to contaminated land, will be extensive and food control measures will be implemented. Potassium iodine consumption after the initial response is not recommended.
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What Does The Potassium Iodide Pill Do
In a nuclear emergency, radioactive iodine could be released into the environment. Taking the correct dose of iodine pills, ideally before exposure to the radioactive iodine, will fill your thyroid with stable iodine, essentially blocking the radioactive iodine from being absorbed by your thyroid. Exposure to radioactive iodine increases a persons risk of developing thyroid cancer, so it is important to take protective measures in the event of the release of radioactive iodine. It is especially important to protect the thyroid gland of children, who are more sensitive to the radiation exposure.
Over time, the potassium iodide will be eliminated through the urinary system. Minor side effects such as gastrointestinal upset and minor rashes have been noted, but are extremely rare.
Potassium Iodide: An Antidote For Radiation Exposure
Manouchehr Saljoughian, PharmD, PhDDepartment of Pharmacy, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley, California
US Pharm. 2011 36:HS-25-HS-28.
Potassium iodide is an inorganic compound that is available from three manufacturers under different brand names as an antidote to radiation exposure. From a chemistry point of view, it is made from potassium hydroxide and iodine, and it is the most produced iodide compound in the world. It is preferred over sodium iodide salt because it is less hygroscopic and easier to handle it is an odorless and stable white crystalline powder. Among its other applications, it is used in the photography industry to form silver iodide and in chemical laboratories as a source of iodide in organic synthesis. KI is also used in biomedical research as a fluorescence quencher through its iodide ion. Upon extended exposure to air, KI becomes yellow as a result of the liberation of iodine, and small quantities of iodate may be formed due to oxidation.1
Although KI has several medical and nutritional applications, its most important application is as an antidote to radiation. Recently, KI has been in high demand in the United States due to the warning about remote radiation exposure from the recent Japanese nuclear plant radioactive releases.2 For medical purposes, a saturated solution of KI is used to treat lung congestion and sporotrichosis and as an antiseptic in sore throats.
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How Do I Know When To Take A Potassium Iodide Dose
Not all nuclear plant emergencies will result in radioactive iodine being released to the outside air. In fact, such an incident is quite rare. Ontarios Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan includes a notification process for residents and businesses in the area. The local Medical Officer of Health will direct residents when they are to use potassium iodide. This will be communicated to residents by many channels including radio, TV, the internet, and potentially direct telephone calls.
Therefore, even though a person has heard of an incident at a nuclear power plant, they should not take the potassium iodide pills unless directed by public health officials. The pills work best when taken immediately before or as soon as possible after exposure. Taking the pills too far in advance will not provide any health benefit.
What is the Recommended Dose of Potassium Iodide?
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission , the regulator over the use of radioactive material in Canada, provides the following table of doses for people, depending on their age and whether or not they are pregnant. If the medical Officer of Health has directed people around a nuclear power plant to take potassium iodide, the following table includes the recommended dose to take, along with the timing of doses.
|¼ tablet dissolved in fluids
Can People Have Reactions To Ki
In general, most people who have taken KI have not had any reactions . If people did have a reaction, it did not last very long. In a few cases, babies had a reaction in their thyroids. Adults who had reactions had stomach problems or a rash. The federal government thinks the benefits of taking KI are much greater than the risks.
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Potassium Iodide For Radiation Exposure
Potassium iodide was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1982 for thyroid protection from radioactive iodine accidents. Of the many radioactive elements released by nuclear accidents, radioactive Iodine-131 is a major component and a huge risk factor for humans.
Potassium iodide is a salt form of stable iodine , and works by blocking radioactive iodine uptake and binding in our thyroid tissue. Non-radioactive potassium iodide is instantly absorbed by the thyroid, binds to the thyroid tissue to saturation, and inhibits the absorption of radioactive iodine for up to 24 hours. However, excess iodine is not without complications, particularly in infants, as it inhibits the production of thyroid hormones and can cause hypothyroidism in infants. Further, iodine, whether radioactive or non-radioactive is transported to a high level in human or animal milk. Thus, breastfeeding mothers should use great caution in using potassium iodide.
In the event of a radioactive emergency, the CDC recommends that potassium iodide be taken by the following groups:
Infants – The normal amount of potassium iodide present in breast milk is not sufficient to protect an infant who has been exposed to radioactive Iodine-131. Thus, infants exposed to environmental radioactive Iodine-131 or other forms of radioactive iodine must receive Potassium Iodide to block uptake of radiation in the infants thyroid gland.
Only Take Iodine Tablets When Expressly Asked To Do So
Iodine tablets should only be taken once this is expressly requested by the civil protection authorities and only in the dose indicated by the authorities.
As the use of iodine tablets can lead to side effects, self-medication is strongly advised against.
In principle, a single administration is sufficient. Further tablets should be taken only if recommended by the civil protection authority.
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