Pharmacy Association: Iodine tablets do not need to be collected

Demand for strong tablets has been higher than usual since the beginning of the , and stocks in several pharmacies have completely run out.

By Charlotta SandlerIodine tablets have been widely sought after in pharmacies since the news of the Russian occupation of .

"According to the recommendations of the authorities, it is good to have iodine in the medicine cabinet at home. This is a preparation that many Finns may have forgotten. But concerns have grown in this current crisis," Sandler said.

He added that iodine tablets should not be hoarded or taken unless instructed to do so by authorities. Long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Finnish authorities recommended that strong iodine be kept in a medicine cabinet in the worst case scenario, but there is no urgency to replenish the domestic stock in the current circumstances.

Every homeowners’ association in Finland has an obligation to store iodine tablets for their residents, and the Finnish Agency for for announced last week that considerable quantities of iodine tablets are available in Finnish emergency stocks.

The statement itself is exceptional, as information related to the contents of emergency supplies is usually carefully guarded.

It has been difficult for pharmacies to prepare for a surprising increase in demand, as iodine sales are normally very low. Demand increases most often when crises around the cause concern for Finns.

Sandler said he hoped people would store cautious iodine and painkillers under normal conditions instead of waiting for a crisis that would cause a huge increase in demand.

"It is advisable to keep these medicines in the medicine cabinet for safety, as the demand for medicines suddenly rises as concerns increase," he said, adding that iodine stocks are not depleted, but there are no pre-packaged iodine pills in pharmacies right now.

More are expected next week.

There is currently no need to take tablets in Finland

Both Sandler and Maarit MuikkuThe director of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s laboratory says that there is currently no need to take iodine tablets in Finland.

Strong iodine is intended to protect the thyroid gland in the event of a nuclear accident or nuclear explosion.

"An iodine tablet is not a panacea for radiation, it just prevents the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland," The vendace explained.

Iodine is an element needed in the human body to make thyroid hormones. In nuclear accidents, radioactive isotopes can be released into the air, which, if they accumulate in the thyroid gland, can cause organ or .

A strong single dose of iodine tablets saturates the thyroid gland with ordinary iodine, which prevents the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the gland.

The iodine tablet should only be taken on the recommendation of the authorities, Muikku added, as it is important to swallow at just the right time. Taking it too early or too late will weaken the protective effect of the tablet.

Jodix tablets in pharmacies contain almost a thousand times higher dose than a person’s daily iodine requirement. Excessive use or overdose can cause severe thyroid dysfunction.

The tablet only protects the thyroid gland. In a real emergency, the most important way for a person to protect themselves is to stay inside and close all doors, windows and vents.

Source: The Nordic Page

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