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Medical News and Perspectives
April 23/30, 2003

Experts Advise on Potassium Iodide Use

JAMA. 2003;289(16):2058. doi:10.1001/jama.289.16.2058

Washington—As fears of nuclear terrorism rise along with apprehensions about conventional and biological attacks, some media outlets have recommended that residents of large US cities keep a supply of over-the-counter potassium iodide on hand.

But such advice was called into question at a recent symposium here on the usefulness of the drug, sponsored by the American Thyroid Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Experts concluded that potassium iodide could indeed help prevent thyroid cancers after a nuclear blast or a nuclear reactor meltdown on the scale of Chernobyl or larger.

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