The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Potassium Iodide for Thyroid Protection in a Nuclear Accident
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Even though it is unlikely that people living in the US will be at risk of significant radiation exposure from the nuclear accident in Japan, some readers have suggested a review of the use of potassium iodide (KI) in such circumstances. Potassium iodide taken orally before or at the time of exposure can limit or prevent uptake of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland.

EXPOSURE TO RADIOACTIVE IODINE — A breach-of-containment nuclear reactor accident at a functioning nuclear power plant can release radioactive iodine and other radionuclides. Human exposure can result from inhalation of iodine particles or aerosols, or from ingestion of contaminated water, vegetation, dairy products or meat; grazing cows that feed on radioactive iodine-contaminated vegetation secrete radioactive iodine in their milk. Children, adolescents and young adults who as children were exposed to even small amounts of radioactive iodine from ... more      

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Title: Potassium Iodide for Thyroid Protection in a Nuclear Accident
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