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All about: Iodine

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Generic name product may be available in the U.S.

Not commercially available in Canada.

Category

  • Antibacterial, topical

Description

Topical iodine (EYE -oh-din) is used to prevent and treat infections that may occur in minor scrapes and cuts. It works by killing bacteria that can cause infections.

This medicine is available in the following dosage form:

  • Topical
  • Tincture (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

If you are using this medicine without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For topical iodine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to iodine. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Use of topical iodine is not recommended during pregnancy because it has been shown to cause thyroid problems in the newborn infant. Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—Topical iodine passes into the breast milk and has been shown to cause unwanted effects, such as thyroid problems in nursing babies. It may be necessary for you to use another medicine or to stop breast-feeding during treatment. Be sure you have discussed the risks and benefits of the medicine with your doctor.

Children—Use of topical iodine is not recommended for newborn infants because it may cause skin and thyroid problems.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of topical iodine in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other topical prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine that is to be applied to the same area of the skin.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of topical iodine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Animal bites or
  • Deep wounds or
  • Serious burns—The chance of side effects may be increased

Proper Use of This Medicine

Use this medicine only as directed.

This medicine is for external use only. Do not swallow it.

Keep this medicine away from the eyes because it may cause irritation . If you should accidentally get some in your eyes, wash it away with water immediately.

Do not use topical iodine on deep, puncture wounds, animal bites, or serious burns . To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Do not cover the wound to which you have applied topical iodine with a tight dressing or bandage since this may increase the chance of side effects.

Dosing—Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label before using this medicine . The following information includes only the average doses of iodine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For topical dosage form (tincture):
    • For minor bacterial skin infections:
      • Adults and children 1 month of age and over—Use when necessary, according to the directions on the label or your doctor's instructions. Do not use for more than ten days.
      • Infants and children under 1 month of age—Use is not recommended.

To help clear up your infection completely, it is very important that you keep using topical iodine for the full time of treatment. Do not miss any doses .

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Check with your doctor if the skin problem for which you are using topical iodine becomes worse, or if you develop a constant irritation such as itching or burning that was not present before you started using this medicine.

This medicine can stain your skin and clothing. Alcohol may be used to remove iodine stain on the skin. Stains on clothing can be removed by washing and rinsing them in ammonia diluted with water. Stains on starched linens can be removed by washing them in soap and water.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare

Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of skin

Symptoms of overdose (when swallowed)

Abdominal or stomach pain; diarrhea; fever; nausea; not being able to pass urine; thirst, severe; vomiting

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 02/22/1994

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