Potassium Iodide (KI) is a non-prescription drug that prevents the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine. It does not protect other parts of the body. It does not protect against any other radioactive materials.
KI is used in addition to evacuation and sheltering-in-place. If advised to evacuate or shelter-in-place, do NOT delay your evacuation or sheltering to try and find KI. KI distribution sites will be available and the locations will be announced, if needed.
When to Take Potassium Iodide (KI)
Take potassium iodide (KI) ONLY if instructed by a local or state Health Officer. If advised to take KI – Make Sure to Take the Correct Dosage, as advised by the Health Officer.
Unless directed by your physician, you should NOT take KI if:
You know you have a thyroid problem
You know you have an allergy to iodine
You know you have an allergy to shellfish
Possible side effects of taking KI include:
- stomach upset
- swelling of your salivary glands
- a metallic taste in your mouth
If you have an allergic reaction to KI you might have:
- shortness of breath
- swelling of face, mouth, and neck
If you have the signs of an allergic reaction, stop taking KI and seek immediate medical attention.
Obtaining Potassium Iodide (KI)
Individuals interested in obtaining potassium iodide can readily purchase the tablets from FDA-approved manufacturers or their vendors without a doctor's prescription. The following manufacturers are approved for the sale and distribution of potassium iodide by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
Phone: 1-866-463-6754 (toll free)
Brand name: IOSAT ™ tablets
Phone: 1-866-849-7672 (toll free)
Brand name: ThyroSafe™ tablets
IOSAT ™ tablets and ThyroSafe™ tablets are also available in some local pharmacies without a doctor's prescription.
Additional Information About KI
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Website has additional information about KI: Frequently Asked Questions on Potassium Iodide (KI)