Taking potassium iodide tablets

Taking potassium iodide tablets is a preventative measure that aims to saturate the thyroid, the main organ in which iodine accumulates. Taking these tablets therefore reduces or prevents absorption of iodine-131 or other radioactive isotopes from iodine that can be released during a nuclear accident. 

If applicable, the decision to recommend that potassium iodide tablets be taken is made by the Crisis Cell upon the recommendation of the Radiological Evaluation Cell. Tablets are deemed necessary when the radioactive dose on the thyroid is likely to exceed the reference level of 50 millisieverts (mSv). 

The tablets should only be taken upon instruction by the authorities. 

The population will be informed that taking the tablets is necessary by the authorities at the required moment via this website and the national media. Timing is crucial in this matter, given that the tablets are only effective for 24 hours. 

You should read the leaflet enclosed with the box of tablets carefully. It provides information on dosage, which differs for infants, children and adults. 

Please note that taking the tablets will in principle be combined with taking shelter and a ban on consuming potentially contaminated food. 

Chewed, swallowed or dissolved 

Potassium iodide tablets can be chewed, swallowed whole or dissolved in a drink. If dissolved, they should first be broken into small pieces in a small amount of lukewarm water in a large glass. The tablets may not dissolve easily. 

Iodine tablets should not be taken on an empty stomach. Having a snack with the tablet can increase one's tolerance and mitigate the taste of iodide. 

In order to administer iodine to a baby... 

... the indicated dose should be dissolved in lukewarm water then added to a drink (milk, juice, water) in a bottle and shaken well. The liquid should be drunk straight away as the solution does not keep.

If you need potassium iodide tablets please contact us. Please provide your name and adress, as well as the number and age of people in your household, that will need tablets. We will follow up your request.

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