Radioactive Iodine Treatment
|The Thyroid Gland|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- Inflammation of the salivary glands causing painful cheeks and dry mouth
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Pain in the neck
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tightness in throat
- Abnormally high or abnormally low thyroid hormone levels
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- If advised by your doctor, eat a special diet. Your doctor may want you on a special low iodine diet prior to the procedure. This may help your procedure to be more successful.
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. Some thyroid hormone medicine should be discontinued up to 4 weeks before the procedure. Other medications used to treat hyperthyroidism should be discontinued 5-7 days before the procedure.
- For 2 hours before the procedure, do not eat or drink anything. Water may be allowed.
- If you are a woman of childbearing age, the doctor will do a pregnancy test.
- A thyroid uptake and scan may be done before the treatment.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Do not eat any solid foods for at least 2 hours after treatment. Drink a lot of clear liquids, such as water or juice.
- For the first 8-12 hours following treatment, use the bathroom every hour. This will help flush the excess iodine from your body.
- Limit your contact with others. Do not enter a room with any infants or children. Stay at least 3 feet away from other adults. Do not stay near any other adult for more than a few minutes. Do not share a bed with anyone for 48 hours following the treatment.
- Do not share any food, drink, or dishes with anyone for the first week. Do not allow your saliva to come into contact with anyone. Avoid kissing and sexual contact.
- Flush the toilet twice after use.
- Wash hands often and thoroughly.
- Resume normal thyroid medications 48 hours after the treatment.
Call Your Doctor
- You have fever or chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Excessive fatigue
- Worsening pain or swelling in the neck
- You are not urinating even with adequate fluid intake
- Tightness in throat or trouble breathing
- Numbness in your ace
- Rapid pulse
Endocrine Society http://www.endocrine.org
Hormone Health Network http://www.hormone.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Thyroid Foundation of Canada http://www.thyroid.ca
Effects of low-iodide diet on postsurgical radioiodide ablation therapy in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2003;58(4):428-435.
Radioactive iodine for hyperthyroidism. The Endocrine Society Hormone Health Network website. Available at: http://www.hormone.org/questions-and-answers/2012/radioactive-iodine-treatment-for-hyperthyroidism. Accessed December 16, 2014.
Radioiodine (I-131) therapy. Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=radioiodine. Updated February 12, 2014. Accessed December 16, 2014.
Rivkees SA, Dinauer C: An optimal treatment for pediatric Graves’ disease is radioiodine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007; 92:797-800.
- Reviewer: Kim Carmichael, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 11/25/2013 -