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All about: potassium iodide

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Generic Name: potassium iodide (poe TAH see um EYE oh dide)
Brand Names: Pima

What is potassium iodide?

Potassium iodide is the potassium salt form of iodide, a naturally occurring substance.

Potassium iodide is an expectorant. It thins mucus secretions in the respiratory tract that may be caused by chronic respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. Potassium iodide is also used to protect the thyroid gland from radiation injury before and following administration of radioactive iodide (e.g., for diagnostic purposes) and in radiation emergencies (e.g., accidental exposure to radiation).

Potassium iodide may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

What is the most important information I should know about potassium iodide?

Tell your doctor and dentist that you are taking this medication before having surgery or taking other medicines.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking potassium iodide?

Before taking potassium iodide, talk to your doctor if you have

  • a history of previous allergic reaction to iodide, iodine, or other medicines;

  • Addison's disease;

  • dehydration;

  • a high level of potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia);

  • cystic fibrosis;

  • tuberculosis;

  • thyroid problems;

  • goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland); or

  • kidney problems.

You may not be able to take potassium iodide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Potassium iodide is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take potassium iodide without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Potassium iodide passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take potassium iodide without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take potassium iodide?

Take potassium iodide exactly as directed. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to explain them to you.

To ensure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Take the oral solution with water or another beverage as directed by your doctor.

It is important to take potassium iodide regularly to get the most benefit.

Your doctor may want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with potassium iodide to monitor progress and side effects.

Store potassium iodide at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a potassium iodide overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking potassium iodide?

Tell your doctor and dentist that you are taking this medication before having surgery or taking other medicines.

Potassium iodide side effects

Stop taking potassium iodide and seek emergency medical attention if you experience a rare but serious allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take potassium iodide and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, or stomach pain;

  • mild skin rash; or

  • a metallic taste in the mouth.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect potassium iodide?

Potassium iodide may interact with other medications. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, during treatment with potassium iodide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about potassium iodide written for healthcare professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Potassium iodide is available with a prescription under the brand name Pima. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Pima 325 mg/5 mL-black raspberry flavored liquid

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:01:24 PM.

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