Potassium iodide has been used medically since at least 1820. KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury. The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine.
- it is also used to treat skin sporotrichosis and phycomycosis.
- Expectorant to thin mucus
- Help in loosen congestion in chest and throat
- Nutritional supplement in animal feeds and human diet
- Thyroid protection in nuclear medicine scintigraphy
- Table salt and foods rich in iodine do not contain enough iodine to block radioactive iodine from getting into your thyroid gland. Do not use table salt or food as a substitute for KI.
Potassium iodide is used to loosen and break up mucus in the airways. This helps you cough up the mucus so you can breathe more easily if you have long-term lung problems (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 thyroid gland 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 number 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).
Side effects of Potassium Iodide (KI)
Side effects of KI (potassium iodide) may include stomach or gastro-intestinal upset, allergic reactions, rashes, and inflammation of the salivary glands.
People should only take KI (potassium iodide) on the advice of public health or emergency management officials.