Healthcare practitioners should be particularly mindful about the situation in Japan regarding their patients’ interest and potential use of potassium iodide. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has advised its member companies—and posted a statement to its website—that potassium iodide used at the appropriate time and level of 130 mg daily may be effective in reducing the risk of thyroid cancer in individuals or populations at risk for inhalation or ingestion of radioiodines. However, nutritional uses (ie, dietary supplements) of potassium iodide are designed specifically to meet nutritional needs and would therefore contain much lower levels of potassium iodide; consequently these supplement products will not have the same effect as the drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose. Further, potassium iodide works best if used within three to four hours of exposure, and should not be used as a long-term prophylactic measure against radiation exposure.
Nutritional uses (ie, dietary supplements) of potassium iodide are designed specifically to meet nutritional needs and would therefore contain much lower levels of potassium iodide.
FDA has posted information on the use of potassium iodide, and these materials will be of interest to healthcare practitioners and can provide useful advice for patients.
“Like all industries, we are closely following what is happening in Japan and are also closely monitoring actions from our government and plan to follow their lead as appropriate. At the same time, we are sensitive to the impact this situation is having on Japan’s economy, and are mindful of how misinformation and rumors could further hurt the businesses that support that country’s population. Our hearts are with our colleagues.”