Patients vary enormously in their tolerance of iodine; some are intolerant or allergic to it both orally and when put on the skin.
Symptoms of iodism include: a metallic taste, excessive salivation with painful salivary glands, running eyes and nose, sore mouth and throat, a productive cough, diarrhoea, and various rashes that may mimic chicken-pox. Elimination can be enhanced by inducing a saline diuresis.
Goitre can occur (see above) with prolonged use of iodide-containing expectorant by bronchitics and asthmatics. Such therapy should therefore be intermittent, if it is used at all.
Topical application of iodine-containing antiseptics to neonates has caused hypothyroidism. Iodide intake above that in a normal diet will depress thyroid uptake of administered radioiodine, because the two forms will compete.
In the case of diet, medication and water soluble radio-diagnostic agents, interference with thyroid function will cease 2-4 weeks after stopping the source, but with agents used for cholecystography it may last for 6 months or more (tissue binding).
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