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Iodine (Topical route)

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Topical iodine is used to prevent and treat infections that may occur in minor scrapes and cuts. It works by killing bacteria that can cause infections… Read more
Brand names include
Aplicare One Tincture Of Iodine, Iodex, Iodoflex, Iodosorb
Drug classes About this
Antibacterial

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Iodine supplementation for preventing iodine deficiency disorders in children

Iodine deficiency causes mental retardation in children as well as an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre) and sometimes deficiencies in thyroid hormones in people of all ages. It still exists in large parts of the world. This review looked at studies with a comparison group of iodine supplementation in children. Twenty‐six studies were included, but these were generally of poor quality. Iodine was given as iodised oil, salt or water. Giving iodine generally decreased thyroid size and increased iodine in the urine. One study suggested a reduction in infant mortality. In some studies there was a trend towards better developmental outcomes after iodine prophylaxis. There was some concern in studies using iodised salt that small children may not eat enough salt to achieve adequate iodine status. Adverse effects were reported, and most of them were minor and did not last long. More high quality long term studies measuring outcomes related to child development, to deaths associated with iodine‐deficiency, and to intervention programmes relevant to children in developed countries, are needed.

Iodine supplementation for the prevention of mortality and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm infants

There is currently insufficient evidence to suggest that supplementing the diet of preterm infants with iodine is beneficial. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are important for brain development in newborn infants. Preterm infants often have low levels of iodine and of thyroid hormones in the first few weeks after birth. This may in part be due to a lack of iodine in their diet. We found only one trial that assessed the effect of giving preterm babies extra iodine. This study did not find any evidence that providing extra iodine increased the level of thyroid hormones. The trial did not assess the effect of providing extra iodine on brain development. Further trials are needed.

Radioiodine therapy for differentiated thyroid carcinoma with thyroglobulin positive and radioactive iodine negative metastases

The main method for the treatment of differentiated thyroid carcinomas (a cancer of the thyroid gland) is total or near‐total thyroidectomy (surgical removal of the thyroid) followed by radioactive iodine therapy (iodine‐131) and treatment with thyroid hormones (mainly thyroxin). The metastatic disease of this thyroid carcinoma or spread of the tumour includes local recurrence and distant metastases. Metastatic disease is a factor that worsens prognosis of patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma. After surgery or as the primary treatment, located metastases should, if possible, be removed by an experienced surgeon. For unremovable metastases which can gather radioiodine, iodine‐131 therapy is an accepted procedure.

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Summaries for consumers

Iodine supplementation for preventing iodine deficiency disorders in children

Iodine deficiency causes mental retardation in children as well as an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre) and sometimes deficiencies in thyroid hormones in people of all ages. It still exists in large parts of the world. This review looked at studies with a comparison group of iodine supplementation in children. Twenty‐six studies were included, but these were generally of poor quality. Iodine was given as iodised oil, salt or water. Giving iodine generally decreased thyroid size and increased iodine in the urine. One study suggested a reduction in infant mortality. In some studies there was a trend towards better developmental outcomes after iodine prophylaxis. There was some concern in studies using iodised salt that small children may not eat enough salt to achieve adequate iodine status. Adverse effects were reported, and most of them were minor and did not last long. More high quality long term studies measuring outcomes related to child development, to deaths associated with iodine‐deficiency, and to intervention programmes relevant to children in developed countries, are needed.

Iodine supplementation for the prevention of mortality and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm infants

There is currently insufficient evidence to suggest that supplementing the diet of preterm infants with iodine is beneficial. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are important for brain development in newborn infants. Preterm infants often have low levels of iodine and of thyroid hormones in the first few weeks after birth. This may in part be due to a lack of iodine in their diet. We found only one trial that assessed the effect of giving preterm babies extra iodine. This study did not find any evidence that providing extra iodine increased the level of thyroid hormones. The trial did not assess the effect of providing extra iodine on brain development. Further trials are needed.

Radioiodine therapy for differentiated thyroid carcinoma with thyroglobulin positive and radioactive iodine negative metastases

The main method for the treatment of differentiated thyroid carcinomas (a cancer of the thyroid gland) is total or near‐total thyroidectomy (surgical removal of the thyroid) followed by radioactive iodine therapy (iodine‐131) and treatment with thyroid hormones (mainly thyroxin). The metastatic disease of this thyroid carcinoma or spread of the tumour includes local recurrence and distant metastases. Metastatic disease is a factor that worsens prognosis of patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma. After surgery or as the primary treatment, located metastases should, if possible, be removed by an experienced surgeon. For unremovable metastases which can gather radioiodine, iodine‐131 therapy is an accepted procedure.

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