What Is Iodine and How Does It Work?

Iodine is a trace element that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.

Dosages of Iodine

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

  • Adult: 150 mcg/day
  • Pregnancy: 220 mcg/day
  • Lactation: 290 mcg/day
  • Children 1-8 years: 90 mcg/day
  • Children 8-13 years: 120 mcg/day
  • Children 13-18 years: 150 mcg/day

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

See Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) in “Dosages of Iodine”

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Iodine?

Side effects associated with use of Iodine, include the following:

  • Acne (high dose)
  • Diarrhea
  • Eosinophilia
  • Excess fluid in the lungs
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Joint pain
  • Metallic taste
  • Skin swelling
  • Thyroid suppression

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Iodine?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

Iodine has no known severe, serious, or moderate interactions with other drugs.

Mild Interactions of iodine include:

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Iodine?


  • This medication contains iodine. Do not take iodine if you are allergic to iodine or any ingredients contained in this drug
  • Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately


  • Hypersensitivity to drug or components

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information provided

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Iodine?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Iodine?”


  • Excessive iodine may cause hypothyroidism by feedback inhibition of thyroid hormone production and conversion of triiodothyronine (T3) to less active thyroxine (T4).
  • Use caution in patients with renal impairment.

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Iodine use during pregnancy has not been studied. Consult your doctor
  • Iodine enters breast milk; use caution if breastfeeding
Medscape. Iodine.
Office of Dietary Supplements. Iodine.

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