Potassium Iodide: What does it do?

In the aftermath of a nuclear emergency, radioactive Iodine can get into your body through eating, drinking or breathing.

Your thyroid gland may be seriously damaged as it absorbs this radioactive chemical. One way to protect this gland and prevent absorption is to make your thyroid “full” by taking non radioactive (KI)Potassium Iodide tablets.

The CDC recommends the following dosages upon advisories emergency officials. They may recommend taking one dose every 24 hours up to a few days.

This is especially important for pregnant woman, young adults and children.

Adults older than 40 should not take KI unless advised.

  • Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two mL of solution).
  • Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.
  • Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 mL of solution). Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose, regardless of their age.
  • Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet OR ½ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
  • Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet or ¼ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing newborn infants.

The CDC advises that KI “can protect only the thyroid from radioactive iodine, not other parts of the body”…and will not reverse damage that has already occurred.

We recommend the following educational site for more information: http://emergency.cdc.gov/radiation/ki.asp

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