iodine (generic name)
- Auto Immune Conditions
- Bladder & Kidney Health
- Brain & Nervous System
- Care Transitions
- Dental Health
- Emotional Health
- Eye Health
- Falls Prevention
- Financial Planning
- General Safety
- Health Care Basics
- Healthy Living
- Hearing Loss
- Heart Health
- High Blood Pressure
- Life Transitions
- Lung Health
- Men's Health
- Nutrition & Weight Management
- Pain Management
- Preventive Health
- Sexual Health
- Stomach & Digestive Health
- Stress & Anxiety
- Women's Health
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Adults (18 years and older)
The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 150 micrograms daily in adults ages 18 and older (220 micrograms daily for pregnant women, 290 micrograms daily for breastfeeding women). The Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) for adults ages 18 and older is 1,100 micrograms daily.
Chronic suppurative otitis media: 5% povidone-iodine ear drops, three drops taken three times daily for 10 days have been used, although other approaches such as antibiotics should be considered and discussed with a supervising healthcare professional.
Goiter: In those with goiter induced by iodine deficiency, correction may not be practical and treatment should involve thyroid hormone replacement with levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid). If practical, iodine deficiency can be corrected, although iodine deficiency is rare in industrialized countries due to supplementation of table salt and cattle feed with iodine. See dosing for iodine deficiency. Other causes of goiter should also be considered under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional. For endemic goiter, 400 micrograms of iodine dialy as di-iodotyrosine has been used or 150 micrograms iodine/500 micrograms iodide with levothyroxine has been used. For gestational goiter, under medical supervision, doses of 50-200 micrograms of iodide daily have been used.
Hyperthyroidism, Graves disease, thyroid storm: As an adjunct to prescription drug inhibitors of thyroid function (such as propylthiouracil or methimazole), saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI, PIMA) 1-5 drops by mouth every eight hours, or Lugol solution (8 milligrams iodide per drop) 2-6 drops (1 milliliter) every eight hours, have been used. For thyrotoxicosis, parenteral treatment may be used, and sodium iodide 1 gram by slow intravenous drip every 8-12 hours has been given. Management should be under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional. Lower doses may be used in pregnancy.
Iodine deficiency: Iodine deficiency is rare in industrialized countries due to supplementation of table salt and cattle feed with iodine. In areas of endemic iodine deficiency, various doses of iodine have been used as prevention or treatment, including 200 milligrams or 2 milliliters of iodized oil daily by mouth. For prolonged supplementation, a single annual intramuscular injection with 1 milliliter Lipiodol UF (480 milligrams of iodine) or 570 milligrams of oral iodine have been used. In those with goiter induced by iodine deficiency, correction may not be practical and treatment should involve thyroid hormone replacement with levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid®, Levoxyl®, Levothroid®).
Mouthwash: As an antibacterial mouthwash, 10-20 milliliters of povidone-iodine mouthwash has been used as a rinse and gingival sulcus irrigant. For prevention of plaque and gingivitis, mouth rinses have been used up to twice daily. For chemotherapy mucositis prevention, povidone-iodine rinses have been used up to four times daily.
Pneumonia: 20 milliliters of a 10% povidone-iodine aqueous solution, reconstituted in a 60 milliliters solution with sterile water, has been used as a nasopharynx and oropharynx rinse in patients with pneumonia and head trauma.
Preoperative before thyroidectomy: Lugol solution 5-10 drops three times daily, or 2-6 drops twice or three times daily, given 10-21 days prior to surgery have been used. Use for longer than 14 days can lead to "iodide escape" with rebound thyrotoxicosis and should be avoided. In pregnant women, there is a risk of fetal goiter, although brief administration of lower doses (6-40 milligrams per day) can be considered. Potassium iodide (SSKI, PIMA) 1-2 drops three times daily mixed in juice or water has also been given. Administration of these preparations should be under the direction of the operating surgeon.
Radiation emergencies: Potassium iodide (KI) should be taken just prior to, or as soon as possible after, exposure. For adults exposed to 10 centigrays (cGy) of radiation or more, KI 130 milligrams is given (for pregnant or lactating women, 120 milligrams KI is administered for radiation exposure of 5cGy or more).
Skin/wound sterilization: Various concentrations of iodine have been used, for example 2% tincture or 2% aqueous solution to affected areas; 10% povidone-iodine applied prior to insertion of catheters; 0.9% iodine ointment for diabetic foot ulcers; and 1% povidone-iodine for wound irrigation. Use as directed.
Upper airway sterilization: 1% povidone-iodine solution inhaled via nebulizer twice daily has been used, with gargle twice daily.
Water sterilization: Salt iodization of water supplies on a large-scale basis can be performed with the addition of iodide or iodate salt with an iodine content varying from 7-100 milligrams per kilogram of salt. For individual use, tincture of iodine 3-10 drops per quart of water has been used, with 15 minutes for anti-microbial effects to occur.
Children (younger than 18 years)
The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 50 micrograms daily for infants 0-12 months; 90 micrograms daily for 1-8 years; 120 micrograms daily for 9-13 years; 150 micrograms daily for 14-18 years. The Adequate Intake (AI) for infants is 110 micrograms daily for ages 0-6 months; 130 micrograms daily for 7-12 months. The Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) are 200 micrograms per day for ages 1-3 years; 300 micrograms per day for 4-8 years; 600 micrograms per day for 9-13 years; 900 micrograms per day for 14-18 years (including pregnancy and lactation).
Iodine deficiency: Iodine deficiency is rare in industrialized countries due to supplementation of table salt and cattle feed with iodine. In areas of endemic iodine deficiency, various doses of iodine have been used as prevention or treatment in children, including 150 micrograms per day.
Ophthalmia neonatorum prevention: 1 drop of 2.5% povidone-iodine applied at birth has been used. No advantage of a second drop has been found.
Radiation emergencies: Potassium iodide (KI) should be taken just prior to, or as soon as possible after, exposure. For infants, babies, and children, KI is administered for exposure of 5 centigrays (cGy) or more. For birth through one month, 16 milligrams can be administered; for one month through three years, 32 milligrams can be administered; for 3-12 years, 65 milligrams can be administered; for adolescents ages 12-18 years, 65 milligrams can be administered (or up to 120 milligrams if the adolescent is approaching adult size).
Skin/wound sterilization: Various concentrations of iodine have been used, for example 2% tincture or 2% aqueous solution to affected areas.
Thyroid disorders: Children should be managed under medical supervision.