What Is in Lugol's Iodine?


Quick Answer

Lugol's iodine contains potassium iodide, iodine and distilled water, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The medication is used before surgical removal of the thyroid gland, WebMD states. In addition, doctors prescribe Lugol's iodine for diseases that overwork the thyroid gland, such as hyperthyroidism and thyroid storm.

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Full Answer

Lugol's iodine shrinks the thyroid gland and limits its production of hormones, WebMD explains. The medication is also used after exposure to radioactive materials, including radioactive iodine treatment and radiation accidents. In these circumstances, Lugol's iodine prevents the thyroid from taking in radioactive iodine, making thyroid cancer less likely.

Lugol's iodine is typically swallowed, advises WebMD. It is often mixed with water, milk or juice to make it palatable. Because it sometimes causes nausea, the medication is consumed in conjunction with food.

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