What are the possible risks and side effects of KI?

When public health or emergency management officials tell the public to take KI following a radiologic or nuclear event, the benefits of taking this drug outweigh the risks. This is true for all age groups. Some general side effects caused by KI may include; intestinal upset, allergic reactions (possibly severe), rashes, and inflammation of the salivary glands.

When taken as recommended, KI causes only rare adverse health effects that specifically involve the thyroid gland. In general, you are more likely to have an adverse health effect involving the thyroid gland if you:

  • Take a higher than recommended dose of KI
  • Take the drug for several days
  • Have pre-existing thyroid disease

Newborn infants (less than 1 month old) who receive more than one dose of KI are at particular risk for developing a condition known as hypothyroidism (thyroid hormone levels that are too low). If not treated, hypothyroidism can cause brain damage. Infants who receive KI should have their thyroid hormone levels checked and monitored by a doctor. Avoid repeat dosing of KI to newborns.

Show All Answers

1. What is Potassium Iodide (KI)?
2. What does KI do?
3. How does KI work?
4. How well does KI work?
5. Who should take KI?
6. When should I take KI?
7. How much KI should I take?
8. How often should I take KI?
9. What are the possible risks and side effects of KI?
10. Where can I get KI?