What Are the Side Effects of Too Much Iodine?


Quick Answer

The side effects of excessive iodine include coughing, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, according to MedlinePlus. Other side effects are shortness of breath, seizures, thirst, throat pain and mouth pain. However, children are more vulnerable to iodine overdose effects than adults.

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Full Answer

Iodine is usually found in small amounts in certain foods, hence iodine from foods is typically harmless, notes MedlinePlus. However, nonfood items such as amiodarone, potassium iodide, Lugol's solution and radioactive iodine may result in iodine poisoning, which necessitates immediate medical attention. Before the arrival of a doctor, the patient should drink milk or cornstarch at an interval of 15 minutes. However, patients who experience symptoms that disrupt the swallowing process, including vomiting and reduced alertness, should not take milk or cornstarch. If possible, the person calling for help should know the quantity of iodine ingested, the time of ingestion, the patient's weight, age and condition. However, help should be summoned immediately, even if the information is not readily available.

To remedy iodine overdose, the doctor first measures signs such as body temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate, states MedlinePlus. He then administers a suitable remedy, which may include fluid and milk intake, and medications that treat the symptoms. Stomach wash and breathing support are other iodine overdose treatment options.

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