Scanomed - Nukleráis medicina központok

I-131 treatment in case of malignant thyroid diseases

In case of malignant thyroid diseases for further treatment a radioiodine therapy may be necessary.

General information on the risks of the treatment

  • The experience of large number of similar treatments all over the world showed that the planned therapy does not increase the risks of secondary malignant diseases or the risks for possible future offsprings.
  • The therapy cannot be performed during pregnancy and breast-feeding. If the possibility of pregnancy cannot be excluded for sure she has to inform the institute where the treatment takes place.
  • The treatment does not cause acute radiation disease, but it may have side effects. These are rare, not life-threatening and characteristically temporary. The following symptoms may occur most frequently: painful or painless swallowing of the neck, nausea, gustational disorder, xerostomia (dry mouth) and haematological abnormalities.
  • After the treatment the patients temporarily emit radioactive radiation and so they have to stay in a specially developed, isolated room for 5 days and they can only leave this room with a permission in specific cases. After being discharged from here certain – later explained – precautions have to be kept.
  • The iodine-containing contrast medium, taking iodine-containing medications, vitamin preparations and consuming food containing iodized salt, sea fish, crayfish, soya or red food dye have to be avoided.
  • For the treatment patients are asked to arrive with an empty stomach. Patients have to take the isotope in a capsule on the same day. Because of the radiation protection of salivary gland it is useful to consume chewing gum and/or lemon (lemon juice) or hard candy. On the 2 days following administration of the capsule excessive fluid intake is recommended.
  • Patients have to confirm their informed consent every time with signing the enclosed form.


Information on radiation protection for patients treated with radioiodine over the dose of 250 MBq, before dismissal:

  • For 10 days patients are not allowed to be in the same room with children and pregnant
  • For 10 days they have to pay special attention to the following hygienic circumstances
    • Men should also use the toilet seated
    • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet
    • Flush the toilet 2-3 times after using
  • For 4 days use distinct bed-linen and wash the underwear seperately from this
  • For 4 days use distinct cutlery


Experiential patient information

  • Isotope therapy is performed on an empty stomach (drinking fluid is permitted).
  • After taking the capsule patients are not allowed to eat for an hour.
  • On the day of the treatment patients should drink an excessive amount of fluid.
  • In 2 days after the therapy the patients should use a distinct toilet and should flush it 2-3 times after using.
  • Men should also use the toilet seated.
  • During the first 2 days preferably do not have visitors, younger children and pregnant women do not visit him/her.
  • If possible, patients should not leave their rooms.
  • Use distinct cutlery for eating.
  • If the floor or the bed is contaminated with urine, stool or vomit inform the medical team (do not start to clean it and do not step into it).
  • The necessary actions are taken by the professional crew.
  • If the patients experience any ot the side effects described in the patient information leaflet, they have to inform the nurse who will call for the physician.
  • About leaving the therapeutic unit the isotope specialist decides after performing dosimetry.
  • The patient has to strictly keep the above mentioned rules in order to protect himself/herself, family and medical staff.