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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Iodine, Strong (Systemic)

Brand Names

Another commonly used name in the U.S. and Canada is Lugol's solution.


  • Antihyperthyroid agent
  • Iodine replenisher
  • Radiation protectant, thyroid gland


Strong iodine (EYE-oh-dine) is used to treat overactive thyroid, iodine deficiency, and to protect the thyroid gland from the effects of radiation from radioactive forms of iodine. It may be used before and after administration of a radioactive medicine containing radioactive iodine or after accidental exposure to radiation (for example, from nuclear power plant accidents). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Strong iodine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Oral solution (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For strong iodine, the following should be considered:

Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to iodine or potassium iodide. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy- Taking strong iodine during pregnancy may cause thyroid problems or goiter in the newborn infant.

Breast-feeding- Strong iodine may cause skin rash and thyroid problems in nursing babies.

Children- Strong iodine may cause skin rash and thyroid problems in infants.

Older adults- Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of strong iodine in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking strong iodine, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Amiloride (e.g., Midamor) or
  • Spironolactone (e.g., Aldactone) or
  • Triamterene (e.g., Dyrenium)-Use of these medicines with strong iodine may increase the amount of potassium in the blood and increase the chance of side effects
  • Antithyroid agents (medicine for overactive thyroid) or
  • Lithium (e.g., Lithane)-Use of these medicines with strong iodine may increase the chance of side effects

Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of strong iodine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
  • Bronchitis or
  • Other lung conditions-Use of strong iodine may make this condition worse
  • Hyperkalemia (too much potassium in the blood) or
  • Kidney disease-Use of strong iodine may increase the amount of potassium in the blood and increase the chance of side effects

Proper Use of This Medicine

For patients taking this medicine for radiation exposure :

  • Take this medicine only when directed to do so by state or local public health authorities.
  • Take this medicine once a day for 10 days, unless otherwise directed by public health authorities. Do not take more of it and do not take it more often than directed . Taking more of the medicine will not protect you better and may result in a greater chance of side effects.

If strong iodine upsets your stomach, take it after meals or with food or milk unless otherwise directed by your doctor. If stomach upset (nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or diarrhea) continues, check with your doctor.

This medicine is to be taken by mouth even if it comes in a dropper bottle.

Do not use this solution if it turns brownish yellow.

Take strong iodine in a full glass (8 ounces) of water or in fruit juice, milk, or broth to improve the taste and lessen stomach upset. Be sure to drink all of the liquid to get the full dose of medicine.

If crystals form in strong iodine solution, they may be dissolved by warming the closed container of solution in warm water and then gently shaking the container.


The dose of strong iodine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of strong iodine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (solution):
    • To treat overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid):
      • Adults and teenagers-One milliliter (mL) three times a day. The first dose is taken at least one hour after the first dose of your antithyroid medicine.
      • Children-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • To prepare for surgery to remove thyroid gland:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children-3 to 5 drops (approximately 0.1 to 0.3 mL) three times a day for ten days before surgery. This medicine is usually given along with your antithyroid medicine.
    • To protect the thyroid gland against radiation exposure:
      • Adults and teenagers-130 mg once a day for ten days.
      • Children-65 mg once a day for ten days.
    • To treat iodine deficiency:
      • Adults and teenagers-0.3 to 1 mL three to four times a day.
      • Children-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose-

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine does not cause unwanted effects.

For patients on a low-potassium diet:

  • This medicine contains potassium . Check with your health care professional before you take this medicine.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. When this medicine is used for a short time at low doses, side effects usually are rare.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Less common
    • Hives;  joint pain;  swelling of the arms, face, legs, lips, tongue, and/or throat;  swelling of the lymph glands 

  • With long-term use
    • Burning of mouth or throat;  confusion ;  headache (severe);  increased watering of mouth;  irregular heartbeat;  metallic taste;  numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet;  soreness of teeth and gums;  stomach upset;  symptoms of head cold;  unusual tiredness;  weakness or heaviness of legs 

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

  • Less common
    • Diarrhea;  nausea or vomiting;  stomach pain 

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT