The key facts about using iodine tablets and their effect

If a serious incident occurs at a nuclear power plant, radioactive iodine is one of the substances that may be released into the environment. This enters the human body in inhaled air and accumulates in the thyroid gland. Provided they are taken in good time, iodine tablets (potassium iodide 65 SERB tablets/potassium iodide 65 AApot tablets) prevent radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland.

Important: The iodine tablets are a precautionary measure. They are intended for use in an emergency and must not be taken unless directed by the authorities. If an incident occurs, the population will be alerted and informed accordingly.

Follow instructions from the authorities

If a dangerous situation occurs, the authorities will use sirens, radio and other media to issue instructions on readying and taking the iodine tablets. The tablets should be taken as quickly as possible once the authorities have issued the instructions; they should be taken in the stated doses and as directed in the package leaflet. The tablets are initially taken only once. Depending on the radiation situation, the competent authorities will use radio and other media to instruct the population to take more tablets. Follow the instructions from the authorities exactly. The iodine tablets (potassium iodide 65 SERB tablets/potassium iodide 65 AApot tablets) are supplied in child-resistant packaging. The pack contains a detailed description of how to remove the tablets in an emergency.

Observe the package leaflet

Using potassium iodide is a safe and reliable way to protect the thyroid gland. Side effects are unlikely to occur if it is taken for a brief period of a few days. And should side effects occur, they are only temporary. Side effects can be largely avoided by taking the iodine tablets with plenty of liquid and not on an empty stomach. Please refer to the package leaflet for detailed information on taking the tablets and the dosage. You can obtain further information from your doctor, pharmacy or drugstore.

Storage instructions

The tablets must be kept in the closed original pack at room temperature (15 – 25°C) and protected against light and moisture. Please keep the tablets in a place where you can find them quickly and out of the reach of children.

No protection against direct exposure to radiation

Iodine tablets prevent the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine that can be released into the air and, depending on the wind direction, into some of the surrounding area if a serious incident occurs at a nuclear power plant. However, iodine tablets do not provide protection against direct exposure to radioactivity. This is why the authorities issue further instructions, such as the requirement to stay at home or in a shelter, if a serious incident occurs at a nuclear power plant.

Effective for people up to 45 years old

Iodine tablets are an effective way of preventing thyroid cancer in children, adolescents, pregnant women and people up to 45 years of age. Iodine tablets are not recommended for people over 45 years of age. If you are over 45 and are nevertheless considering taking iodine tablets if an incident occurs, your doctor, pharmacy or drugstore can provide further information.