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Brand Name(s) : Betadine, Savlon Dry, Videne
Side Effects


Povidone iodine should be used with caution in: kidney disease.

It should not be used in: patients with known or suspected sensitivity to iodine, children aged under 2 years or premature babies (depending on brand), deep wounds. Povidone iodine should not be used regularly in thyroid disease, or in patients receiving lithium treatment.

Also see list of precautions and interactions


Store at or below 25ºC.


Povidone iodine is used to prevent and treat infection.

It is a germicide, sometimes known as an antiseptic.

It is used as an antiseptic for skin that is infected or that is likely to become infected. Povidone iodine works by slowly releasing iodine which kills or prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses.

In general this drug is used to prevent or treat infection in wounds including ulcers, burns, cuts, minor surgical procedures and other minor injuries.

Benefits of being on this drug can include prevention and treatment of skin infection.

Listed below are the typical uses of povidone iodine.

  • Prevention of infections in wounds including ulcers, burns and cuts
  • Treatment of infection in minor wounds
  • First aid for minor cuts, grazes, burns, abrasions and blisters
  • Antiseptic cleanser for surgeons and theatre staff before surgery
  • Cleaning of a patient's skin before surgery

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.


How often do I take it?

  • Use this medicine as per the patient information leaflet. The affected area of skin should be clean and dry before applying povidone iodine. The medicine may need to be used more or less frequently, as indicated by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take some days before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. Information on the time to maximum effect is not available.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Povidone iodine is not known to affect a patient's ability to drive or operate machinery. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue using this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.


If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • No major adverse events listed

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking povidone iodine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other antiseptics; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a known or suspected sensitivity to iodine, deep wounds, thyroid disease, or are receiving lithium treatment.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following kidney disease.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol intake is not known to affect povidone iodine.

The elderly: povidone iodine can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


Povidone iodine is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Povidone iodine is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • Lithium

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting povidone iodine.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • None known.

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using povidone iodine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.


Symptoms of overdose include metallic taste in the mouth, increased saliva in the mouth, burning or pain in the throat or mouth, irritation and swelling of the eyes, fluid on the lungs (pulmonary oedema), skin problems, stomach problems, diarrhoea, metabolic acidosis (excess acid in the blood), hypernatraemia (increased sodium in the blood) and kidney problems.

if you use too much povidone iodine or you accidentally swallow povidone iodine, contact your doctor or the casualty department of your local hospital immediately.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of povidone iodine or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you miss a dose, apply the next dose as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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