Potassium iodide is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula KI.
Potassium iodide is used to loosen and break up mucus in the airways. This helps youcough up the mucus so you can breathe more easily if you have long-term lungproblems (e.g., asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema). This medication is known as an expectorant.
Potassium iodide is also used along with antithyroid medicines to prepare the thyroidgland for surgical removal, to treat certain overactive thyroid conditions (hyperthyroidism), and to protect the thyroid in a radiation exposure emergency. It works by shrinking the size of the thyroid gland and decreasing the amount of thyroid hormones produced.
In a radiation emergency, potassium iodide blocks only the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine, protecting it from damage and reducing the risk of thyroid cancer. Use this medication along with other emergency measures that will be recommended to you by public health and safety officials (e.g., finding safe shelter, evacuation, controlling food supply).
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to treat a certain type of fungal skin infection(sporotrichosis).
- Saturated solutions of potassium iodide can be an emergency treatment for hyperthyroidism (so-called thyroid storm), as high amounts of iodide temporarily suppress secretion of thyroxine from the thyroid gland. The dose typically begins with a loading dose, then 1/3 mL SSKI (5 drops or 250 mg iodine as iodide), three times per day.
- Iodide solutions made from a few drops of SSKI added to drinks have also been used as expectorants to increase the water content of respiratory secretions and encourage effective coughing.
- SSKI has been proposed as a topical treatment for sporotrichosis, but no trials have been conducted to determine the efficacy or side effects of such treatment.
- Potassium iodide has been used for symptomatic treatment of erythema nodosum patients for persistent lesions whose cause remains unknown. It has been used in cases of erythema nodosum associated with Crohn’s disease.
Nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhea, metallic taste in the mouth, fever,headache, or acne may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
None are recorded.