Sodium Iodide (Intravenous, Oral)

To treat iodine deficiency, healthcare experts prescribe either oral or injection sodium iodide treatments depending on the severity of the diagnosis.

Overview

Iodine is an essential mineral that helps to regulate the thyroid gland in humans. This trace element promotes normal growth and development throughout all stages of life.

Some individuals, however, suffer from an iodine deficiency. In these cases, Sodium Iodide may be prescribed when patients are unable to absorb sufficient amounts of Iodide through diet alone. Prescriptions are currently available in oral capsule or IV forms.

In context, Iodide deficiency is not common in the United States. This is because many of the foods we eat contain iodine - in particular, table salt.

Even though this may be true in the Western Hemisphere, some areas do not have easy access to iodine-rich foods.

What's the Difference Between Iodine vs. Iodide?

These terms will be used interchangeably throughout the guide as both iodide and iodine represent the same element - in different states.

The Repercussions of Iodine Deficiency

Iodine deficiency can lead to many serious health issues, including:

  • Thyroid Problems
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Goiter
  • Hearing Loss

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, a division of the National Institutes of Health, iodine predominantly affects thyroid hormones.

These thyroid hormones govern many critical biochemical responses in the body, such as:

  • Metabolic Function
  • Protein Synthesis
  • Enzyme Function

The Benefits of Iodide in Utero

In addition, the Office of Dietary Supplements cites that an iodine deficiency can have irreversible and irreparable adverse health effects in developing fetuses.

If a mother's intake or access to iodide-rich foods are low, this could potentially result in:

  • Failure to Thrive
  • Hearing Loss
  • Mental Retardation
  • Motor Issues
  • Stillbirth or Miscarriage

As a result, medical specialists often address iodide deficiencies with prescription sodium iodide. This is available under the trade name Iodopen, which can be administered:

  • Orally
  • Intravenously (IV)

Intravenous sodium iodide is exclusively provided by trained medical workers.

Dietary Sodium Iodide Treatments

Along with the above treatments, healthcare providers may also outline a plan to help patients identify and source more of this essential mineral.

For example, iodide is typically found in many types of seafood and vegetables cultivated in iodine-rich soils.

Some other examples of foods that are rich in iodine include:

  • Apple Juice
  • Banana
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Cod
  • Corn
  • Egg
  • Green Peas
  • Iodized Salt
  • Lima Beans
  • Milk
  • Prunes
  • Seaweed
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna

A non-prescription supplement may be recommended.

Rules Governing Sodium Iodide Intake

When prescribing sodium iodide, healthcare professionals generally refer to the recommended dietary allowances and daily values of nutrients published by the corresponding country of duty.

In the United States, for example, roughly 40-200 mcgs are recommended, depending on the patient's age. Other factors that affect the recommended dietary allowance for Iodide are sex and pregnancy.

Individuals at Risk of Iodine Deficiency

The most common triggers for an iodide/iodine deficiency include:

  • Pregnancy - The intake amounts are higher for this group.
  • Iodine-Deficient Soil: People who reside in places where the soil contains little to no iodine often suffer from iodine deficiency.
  • Goitrogens - Even if one eats a lot of iodine-rich foods, this may be contraindicated with the consumption of goitrogens. In essence, goitrogens affect how the body absorbs iodide and a few examples include cabbage and cauliflower, for example.
  • Iodide-Free Diet - People who choose to not use iodized salt when cooking or eating may be at risk of an iodine deficiency, though rare.

In order to diagnose an iodide deficiency, urinary iodine measurements are taken.

Government Initiatives

When medical researchers confirmed the essential value of sodium iodide more than a century ago and the potential repercussions of iodide deficiencies, extensive measures were taken to formulate programs that would improve public health and safety.

Today, these programs are barely noticeable, though right under our nose.

The table salt we use at home, for example, is most likely to contain iodide, since salt manufacturers voluntary add this trace mineral. It's been this way since the 1920s.

Conditions Treated

  • Iodine Deficiency
  • Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD)

Type Of Medicine

  • Trace Element Additive

Side Effects

While iodide deficiency can have real serious health effects, the reverse is also true.

Overdosing on iodide could mimic some of the same symptoms of an iodine deficiency, including:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Goiter
  • Thyroiditis
  • Thyroid Papillary Cancer

Rare Side Effects of Sodium Iodide

  • Acute iodine poisoning

Sodium iodide treatments should be used with caution. It is important for patients to not overdo the treatment as doing so could lead to this serious but rare side effect.

Acute iodine poisoning requires immediate medical attention and some of the symptoms include:

  • Bitter Metallic Taste
  • Coma
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Skin Rashes
  • Spikes in Temperature
  • Swelling
  • Throat or Mouth Irritation
  • Upset Stomach

If you received an IV treatment with sodium iodide, ask your doctor what foods are safe to eat and for how long to avoid acute iodide poisoning. To treat, doctors generally up the intake of fluids to flush the system.

Dosage

The below dosages are estimates of what doctors prescribe:

Sodium Iodide Injections

Sodium iodide injections are diluted into total parenteral nutrition treatments and are administered exclusively by medical workers.

The U.S. brand, Idopen, is supplied in 10 ML vials. Each ML contains 100 mcgs of iodide. The average dose of Sodium Iodide Injections are:

  • Adults: 1-2 Mcg Iodine | Per Kg of Body Weight | 1x Day
  • Pregnant and Nursing Mothers: 2-3 Mcg Iodine | Per Kg Of Body Weight | 1x Day
  • Children: Adults: 2-3 Mcg Iodine | Per Kg of Body Weight | 1x Day

Oral Sodium Iodide

Sodium iodide doses are largely dependent on the recommended dietary allowances charted by the country in which is prescribed. Currently, there are three main guidelines that healthcare providers typically refer to, including the U.S., Canadian, or European versions. For the purposes of this article, the U.S. recommended dietary allowances and daily values are used.

The dosage amounts listed on this chart consider:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Lifestyle Changes

Pregnant women, for example, get a modest boost in sodium iodide intake in order to support the normal health and development of both the mother and fetus.

Males, too, require more sodium iodide than females, in most cases. This isn't exclusive to sodium iodide either, as most minerals and nutrients will be less or more for specific groups.

Dose Chart for Oral Sodium Iodide:

  • Infants and Toddlers (3 and Under): 40-70 mcg | 1X Daily
  • Children 4-6 Years Old: 90 mcg | 1X Daily
  • Children 7-10 Years Old: 120 mcg | 1X Daily
  • Teens: 150 mcg | 1X Daily
  • Adults 18 and Older: 150 mcg | 1X Daily
  • Expecting Mothers: 175 mcg | 1X Daily
  • Nursing Mothers: 200 mcg | 1X Daily

When doses of iodide are administered, orally or intravenously, it is quickly absorbed in the body. Continuous treatment may be required for patients who lack access to foods rich in iodine.

Missed Dose

Sodium Iodide doses should never be doubled as high doses could cause negative side effects, as mentioned earlier in this guide. If you miss a dose, take it when you remember and note the time for continuing the next day.

Interactions

No negative interactions have been established for prescription sodium iodide.

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Some over the counter medicines contain sodium iodide. As a result, be sure to inform your healthcare provider of any vitamins, supplements, or OTC drugs being taken. If you have been diagnosed with an iodide deficiency, it is important to not overdo treatment as high doses of this mineral could cause poisoning to occur.

Warnings

Concentrated amounts of sodium iodide could have adverse side effects. Before, during, and after the course of a sodium iodide IV treatments, be sure to heed the warnings outlined by your medical provider.

In general, these warnings include:

Allergic Reaction

Tell your doctor if you have a history of allergic reactions to iodine.

Iodide for Infants

Infants who are given excessive amounts of sodium iodide could face adverse reactions, such as thyroid dysfunction and irritating skin rashes. As a result, the maximum recommended daily allowance of 70 mcg should not be exceeded during treatment.

Preexisting Medical Conditions

Taking prescription sodium iodide could exacerbate certain underlying medical conditions. These include:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Tuberculosis

Before heading to the doctor, make a list of all medications being taken at this time, including prescription and over the counter drugs. Also, note any underlying medical conditions or allergies you have. Your doctor will factor in these variables before devising a treatment plan for iodide deficiency.

Aluminum Toxicity

Sodium iodide injections are processed with aluminum, which could be toxic to premature babies and individuals diagnosed with a renal impairment.

Storage

Oral doses of sodium iodide should be stored at room temperature and out of the reach of children and adults. Avoid placing the bottle in areas with heat, moisture, or direct sunlight. These could affect the quality of the medicine.

Summary

Did you know that too little or too much of sodium iodide is never a good thing?

An iodide deficiency makes our system go haywire and too much of this mineral could cause poisoning.

It is therefore important to strike just the right balance.

A good way to accomplish this is to consult a dietary nutritionist or a healthcare provider. Your specialist will outline foods that are rich in iodide and any additional measures that need be taken to treat iodine deficiency.

In addition to prescription or over-the-counter supplements containing iodine, healthcare specialists may opt for sodium iodide injections or Idopen. In such cases, iodine is administered in safe concentrations through an IV. These concentrations are typically diluted into a total parenteral nutrition treatment.

Iodine deficiency is very rare in the United States. Many of the food staples found in American households contain iodine, including table salt, bread, milk, eggs, and cheese. In other regions where soils used to grow crops lack iodine, iodine deficiencies are prevalent.

This deficiency can have real negative effects on patients' health, but the good news is that it can be treated with prescription sodium iodide.

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Last Reviewed:
January 28, 2018
Last Updated:
April 05, 2018