Radioactive iodine side effects

Radioactive iodine is a common therapy used in the treatment of thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism.


Side effects of Radioactive Iodine Treatment include:
  • A sore throat may occur a few days after the treatment, which can be treated with acetaminophen.
  • Rarely, the salivary glands may swell, may also cause dry mouth and taste changes, which are caused by the iodine and not the radioactivity. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy may help with the salivary gland problems.
  • Mild nausea and upset stomach may develop for a few hours after the iodine is taken, so it is best not to eat two hours before and two hours after the iodine administration. If nausea continues, the doctor’s office can prescribe medications to treat the nausea.
  • Neck tenderness and swollen lymph nodes may arise after the treatment and will minimize over time. If it continues, please contact your provider’s office.
  • It is extremely important that women who are breast-feeding stop before the Radioactive Iodine Treatment is given, since iodine is concentrated and excreted in breast milk.
  • Pregnant women should not be treated with Radioactive Iodine Treatment, and pregnancy should be avoided for six months following treatment
  • Tear formation is sometimes reduced in some people leading to dry eyes. If you wear contact lenses, ask your doctor how long you should keep them out.
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