The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has issued instructions for use of a drug that can protect against thyroid cancer in the event of a nuclear accident or terrorist attack. The organization began updating the nuclear antidote instructions more than a year ago but accelerated its finalization in light of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
After the Chernobyl accident in Russia, the FDA realized that the recommended doses of potassium iodide (KI) administered after such exposures needed to be adjusted. Now, instead of one dose for babies and another for other age groups, the FDA recommends different doses for children of all ages. This antidote should be administered to children and pregnant or nursing women when they are exposed to far lower doses of radioactive iodide than had been recommended in the past. Adults over 40 would not need the antidote unless exposed to a massive dose, and young adults would be treated if they suffer from mid-range contamination.
For more information on these adjusted dosages and other information regarding the KI antidote, visit www.fda.gov/cder/guidance/4825fnl.htm.