We often prescribe Lugol’s solution to decrease the risk of thyroid storm in patients who will have surgery to remove the thyroid. This solution could cause chemical burn when it is not used correctly.

What is Lugol’s solution?

It is a liquid that contains an iodine and potassium iodide concentrate.

How do I take it?

Make sure you follow the directions on the label. Always mix Lugol’s solution with 8 ounces (1 cup) of water or juice. Never use it directly in the mouth.

The dose depends on what it is used for. The normal dose for thyroid surgery is 8 drops, 3 times daily.

What are the side effects?

Many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects when used properly.

If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away:

  • Signs of allergic reaction (rash, hives, or itching)

  • Diarrhea

  • Trouble breathing, swallowing or talking

  • Very bad upset stomach

  • Vomiting

What should I do if I miss a dose?

Take a missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your normal time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

How should I store it?

Store it at room temperature and protect from light. Discard any remaining solution.