Potassium iodide, an expectorant and thyroid-protectant agent, is available by prescription and over-the-counter. While it is seldom used for cough, it is commonly prescribed to protect thyroid function in response to radiation exposure. It is also purchased by consumers who are concerned about fallout from future nuclear disasters, such as the meltdown of the Fukushima reactor in Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Use of this product is also an important preventive measure in the event of the detonation of nuclear devices. Recently, National Public Radio reported that sales of the over-the-counter version of potassium iodide increased dramatically after President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traded Twitters about the size of their “nuclear buttons.”
Healthcare providers should be familiar with the use of potassium iodide and be prepared to advise their patients on appropriate storage and use of the preventive product.
Additional information about Potassium Iodide can be found in the Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to the Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.
Link to NPR story: