Tribuss tablets, what are they for

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. What is the thyroid gland and what is it for?

1. What is the thyroid gland and what is it for?

The thyroid is a hormonal gland located on the neck below the larynx in front of the windpipe. The main function of the thyroid is to produce thyroid hormones, for which the gland needs iodine and therefore stores iodine. Thyroid hormones play an important role in the energy metabolism and the growth of individual cells and the entire organism. For example, they control the basic processes of life such as the heartbeat, body temperature and digestion. Diseases of the thyroid gland can lead to disorders of the hormone metabolism and be associated with an underactive or overactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism).

2. What is iodine blockade?

2. What is iodine blockade?

Iodine blockade refers to the "blocking" of the thyroid gland with non-radioactive iodine by taking special, high-dose iodine tablets as a protective measure in the event of a serious accident in a nuclear power plant. These special iodine tablets prevent radioactive iodine from being stored in the thyroid. With iodine blockade, you protect yourself against an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer.

3. What do iodine tablets protect against and what do they not protect against?

3. What do iodine tablets protect against and what do they not protect against?

Iodine tablets only protect against radioactive iodine and against an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer. They do not protect against other radioactive substances.

4. What exactly are potassium iodide tablets and how are they made up?

4. What exactly are potassium iodide tablets and how are they made up?

Potassium iodide tablets are special iodine tablets that protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine in the event of a serious accident in a nuclear power plant. The potassium iodide tablets, which are kept ready in Germany by the civil protection, contain high doses of iodine, 65 mg potassium iodide per tablet, corresponding to 50 mg iodide. Further information can be found on the instruction leaflet.

5. When should I take the iodine tablets?

5. When should I take the iodine tablets?

The right time to take the iodine tablets is a basic requirement for the iodine blockade to work. If you take the iodine tablets too late, radioactive iodine can be absorbed by the thyroid beforehand. If you take the iodine tablets too early, the supplied non-radioactive iodine is already completely or partially broken down. In the event of an accident in a nuclear power plant, the disaster control authorities are the first to have all the necessary information about the release of radioactive iodine and its spread in the area. Therefore, only the civil protection authorities can decide whether iodine blockade is necessary and recommend in which areas and at what time the iodine tablets should be taken.
So that the iodine blockade works optimally, the notifications and recommendations of the disaster control authorities should be followed.

6. Who can take the iodine tablets?

6. Who can take the iodine tablets?

Who should take the iodine tablets in the event of an accident in a nuclear power plant depends on the age and whereabouts of the people concerned. Children and adolescents are the main target group when taking iodine tablets due to the development and sensitivity of the thyroid gland. If necessary, the authorities will indicate in their request which groups of people should take the tablets. Further information can be found here.

7. Why are children and young people particularly at risk?

7. Why are children and young people particularly at risk?

Children, whose bodies are in their growth phase, need significantly more thyroid hormones to control life processes (including growth) than an adult. The thyroid in children is therefore much more active and much more iodine is absorbed into the thyroid than in adults. In addition, the thyroid gland of children is significantly smaller than that of adults. If radioactive iodine is absorbed by children, this leads to a significantly higher load on the child’s thyroid tissue compared to adults.

8. Why should people older than 45 years not take iodine tablets?

8. Why should people older than 45 years not take iodine tablets?

Metabolic disorders of the thyroid gland are more common with increasing age. Such so-called functional autonomy increases the risk of side effects of iodine blockade. In addition, the likelihood of developing thyroid cancer caused by ionizing radiation decreases sharply with increasing age. According to the recommendations of the Radiation Protection Commission, people over 45 should therefore refrain from taking iodine tablets.

9. Can iodine tablets also be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

9. Can iodine tablets also be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Since the unborn child also absorbs iodine into the thyroid from around the 12th week of pregnancy, pregnant women protect their child from the possible consequences of radioactive iodine by taking iodine tablets.

10. I breastfeed my child. Can I take iodine tablets? Should I also give my child iodine tablets?

10. I breastfeed my child. Can I take iodine tablets? Should I also give my child iodine tablets?

Iodine is released into breast milk in individually different amounts during breastfeeding. Since this does not guarantee adequate iodine blockade in the breastfed child, newborns and infants should also receive iodine tablets in the appropriate dosage.

11. How should I take the iodine tablets?

11. How should I take the iodine tablets?

The iodine tablets can be swallowed in the specified amount with a sip of water. To make it easier to take, the specified amount can also be dissolved in a drink (water, juice, tea). This resulting solution should be drunk immediately, as it can no longer be kept.

12. Should I take the tablets before or after a meal?

12. Should I take the tablets before or after a meal?

The tablets should not be taken on an empty stomach.

13. How many tablets should I take?

13. How many tablets should I take?

The dosage of iodine tablets for iodine blockade depends on age. Please follow the instructions carefully, as a higher or lower dosage can endanger your health and that of your child. Information on dosage can be found here.

14. How often do I have to take the iodine tablets?

14. How often do I have to take the iodine tablets?

Basically, a single intake of the specified amount is sufficient. Another tablet should only be taken if the competent authority recommends it.

15. Are there any intolerances and risks?

15. Are there any intolerances and risks?

If the tablets are taken on an empty stomach, this can cause irritation of the stomach lining. In rare cases, allergic reactions may occur after taking iodine tablets. These include: rash, itching and burning of the eyes, runny nose, dry cough, diarrhea, headache, fever or similar symptoms. In individual cases, an iodine-related hyperthyroidism can occur after taking the iodine tablets. Signs of this can include an increased heart rate, sweating, insomnia, shakiness, diarrhea, or weight loss. If you notice these symptoms, consult your doctor.

People who suffer or have suffered from an overactive thyroid should only take iodine tablets after consulting their doctor.

If you or your children have one of the following diseases or allergies, you or your children must not take iodine tablets: Hypersensitivity to iodine (this rare form of allergy must not be confused with the more common form of allergy to X-ray contrast media); Dermatitis herpetiformis Duhring, also called Duhring's disease, Duhring-Brocq disease (a chronic skin disease with herpes-like blistering as well as rash and burning itching); Hypocomplementemic vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels caused by allergies). Not sure if you have any of the above diseases? Then talk to your family doctor.

16. I am already taking iodine tablets due to a thyroid disease. Are these tablets the same as those used for iodine blockade?

16. I am already taking iodine tablets due to a thyroid disease. Are these tablets the same as those used for iodine blockade?

Potassium iodide tablets should not be confused with the iodine tablets prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of thyroid diseases. The amount of iodine in these doctor-prescribed tablets is far too small to be used for iodine blockade.
Conversely, the iodine tablets taken to block iodine should not be used to treat thyroid diseases because of their high levels of iodine. For your own safety, they may only be taken if recommended by the disaster control authorities in the event of an accident in a nuclear power plant.

17. How do I get iodine tablets?

17. How do I get iodine tablets?

In Germany, enough iodine tablets are kept ready to provide the affected population - especially children and adolescents - with good care. In the event of an accident in a nuclear power plant, iodine tablets are distributed by the authorities in the affected area. If you live within a 10 km radius of a nuclear power plant, you may have already received the tablets. If you would like to stock up on iodine tablets yourself, you can also buy iodine tablets without a prescription in the pharmacy.

18. Who distributes iodine tablets in Germany in the event of an accident in a nuclear power plant?

18. Who distributes iodine tablets in Germany in the event of an accident in a nuclear power plant?

The municipalities are preparing distribution points for the potassium iodide tablets. Citizens are prompted in good time by means of a call in the media to collect their tablets from these distribution points. In the event of an accident in a nuclear power plant, the disaster control authorities deploy different forces with different tasks. For more information about the organization and the planned processes, please contact your disaster control authority.

19. Who distributes iodine tablets in Germany in the event of an accident in a foreign nuclear power plant near the border?

19. Who distributes iodine tablets in Germany in the event of an accident in a foreign nuclear power plant near the border?

Just as in the case of an accident in a German nuclear power plant, the disaster control authorities take care of the distribution of the iodine tablets (see question 18.).

20. How should I best store the tablets?

20. How should I best store the tablets?

Iodine tablets must be stored in the original packaging and protected from light, moisture and heat (not above 25 ° C). Keep tablets out of the reach of children.

21. How long can the tablets be kept?

21. How long can the tablets be kept?

In the case of over-the-counter tablets, the use-by date is printed on the packaging.
In accordance with Section 3 of the Potassium Iodide Ordinance, no expiry date is given on the packaging of the tablets stored for emergency stocks at the federal and state levels. These tablets are checked for their shelf life through quality controls.

 

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