Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How much potassium iodide should I take?

This is written as a post-script to the previous blog. Again, there is little likelihood that we will get this kind of radiaton exposure at this time, so this is written for information for future reference, something to keep in our emergency supply of food.

The following is the FDA recommendations for dosages of potassium iodide if there is radiation exposure:

Exposures greater than 5 cGy:

Birth through 1 mo. - 16 mg.

1 mo. through 3 yrs. - 32 mg.

3 yrs. through 18 yrs. - 65 mg. (adolescents > 150 lbs. use adult dose)

Exposures greater than 10 cGy:

18 yrs. through 40 yrs. - 130 mg.

Exposures greater than 500 cGy:

Adults over 40 yrs. - 130 mg.

Potassium iodide protects for approximately 24 hours, and should be dosed daily until the risk no longer exists. First dose priority should be given to pregnant females and neonates, but a repeat dose should be given only if there is not proper evacuation and sheltering for them.

Persons with known iodine sensitivity should avoid potassium iodide, as should individuals with dermtitis herpetiformis, hypocomplementemic vaculitis, extremely rare conditions associated with an increased risk of ioding hypersensitivity. Individuals with multinodular goiter, Graves' disease, and autoimmune thyroiditis should be treated with caution -- especially if dosing extends beyond a few days.

Do not take ACE inhibitor blood pressure medication such as captropril, enalapril or lisinapril, or potassium sparing diuretics with the potassium iodide or the levels of potassium may go too high causing heart arrhythmias.

DO NOT take this amount of potassium iodide as a preventative measure. It will not serve the body and may harm it without the radiation to replace. If you want to use iodine and/or potassium iodide to reduce the affects of future exposure, take 500 mcg to 1 mg a day (MUCH less than the recommended dose for exposure) for at least 2 weeks to make sure the body has adequate iodine for all of its needs. You can continue to take 250 - 500 mcg. after the first two weeks to keep you level stable.

Until we meet again,

Dr. Judi

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