Which medications in the drug class Iodines are used in the treatment of Graves Disease?

Updated: Apr 17, 2020
  • Author: Sai-Ching Jim Yeung, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Have long been used to treat thyrotoxicosis and are still important adjunctive therapy for hyperthyroidism in modern medicine. In pharmacologic concentrations (100-times normal plasma level), decrease activity of thyroid gland. Action involves decreasing thyroidal iodide uptake, decreasing iodide oxidation and organification, and blocking release of thyroid hormones (Wolff-Chaikoff effect).

Oral contrast agents ipodate or iopanoic acid also shown to be potent inhibitors of T4-to-T3 conversion, making them ideal for severe or decompensated thyrotoxicosis. Generally administered after thioamide is started. Also used as preoperative preparation for thyroid surgery for Graves disease.

In combination with thioamides and/or propranolol, iodines are used routinely before thyroidectomy. Iodines are given for 2-3 weeks before surgery and decrease vascularity of hyperthyroid gland. Making patient euthyroid before surgery prevents intraoperative and postoperative complications.

Potassium iodide (SSKI, Pima)

Inhibits thyroid hormone secretion.

Contains 5% iodine and 10% potassium iodide. Contains 8 mg of iodide per drop. May be mixed with juice or water for intake.

Diatrizoate (Hypaque sodium)

Blocks release of thyroid hormones.

Iopanoic acid (Telepaque)

Oral contrast agent for rapid and significant inhibition of peripheral T4-to-T3 conversion. Inorganic iodide released also blocks release of thyroid hormones.

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