Diagnostics & Testing

Iodine-131 Therapy Safety Instructions


Radioiodine treatment uses a form of iodine that is radioactive. Iodine is selectively absorbed by your thyroid gland; the rest mainly passes out of your body in urine saliva, sweat and breast milk if you are breast-feeding. Your doctor considers that this is the best form of treatment for you.

Pregnancy and breast feeding or to be father:

  • You should not become pregnant or father children for four to six months after your therapy.
  • Breast-feeding must be stopped for four to six weeks before therapy and completely after therapy.

To protect others, you have to follow the below guidelines.


  • Kindly use the assigned parking space for nuclear medicine department as advised.
  • Watch the distance between you and others while you are leaving the hospital; keep at least two to three meters.
  • Avoid using the hospital bathrooms; you can only use the assigned toilet for you.

Using transportation:

  • Using taxi: Sit in the back on the opposite side from the driver. Do not spend more than two hours with any one taxi driver.
  • Using Car: driving your own car is recommended, otherwise; only one person can be with you in the car (including the driver), you should be in opposite side of each other.


If you sit in contact within two meters of others for more than two hours per day, you can share with your manager the instruction at work that provided to you if needed.


Avoid visiting cinemas and other social events where you are close to other people for more than one hour. You can only go to areas that allow three meters between you and others.


Public transportation

Using public transportation is restricted for one week; you should not use public transport to journeys lasting no more than two hours. You can Ask the radiation safety officer for advice on the therapy date if such a trip is unavoidable.

Using airplane

It is advisable to avoid air travel if possible. If it’s impossible; try to find a place where you can sit alone and be at least one meter from others. If you must sit beside someone move around so that you are not sitting beside the same person all the time. Call the hospital in the working days and ask for appointment with radiation safety personnel for travel report before your trip.


If you have to go to hospital unexpectedly, please inform the medical staff that you have been treated with radioactive iodine recently, and show them the details of the therapy that you were given on release from hospital. This applies even when it is the same hospital where you were treated.


  • Do not sit or stay close to any person. Try to maintain a distance of at least one meter. For long periods (more than one hour), stay two meters away and stay three meters away from pregnant ladies and children below 18 years old.
  • Please avoid close contact with children below 18 years old, such as hugging or holding, whenever possible. It is advisable to avoid unnecessary contact for an additional week in addition to the recommended period.
  • Children under two years old should be looked after by someone else. If this is not possible, you can probably care for the baby but ask for additional advice from the radiation safety team in CCAD on the therapy date
  • Short visits, of less than two hours, create no problem. Keep a distance of about two meters from visitors and preferably avoid close contact. You should discourage visits by young children and pregnant women.


  • Use separate bathroom/toilet from your family. If not possibly, ask the radiation safety officer for advice on the therapy date
  • Pass urine while seated (including men). Always dry your genitals with toilet paper and flush the toilet two to three times.
  • Wash your hands twice after using the bathroom. Have a shower on a daily basis if possible; Rinse the shower or bath tub well after use.
  • Use paper towel or your own towel after washing your hands.

Please follow the below radiation safety advice

Instructions Administrated I-131 dose (mci) / dose rate @1m
Sleep in separate bed
Avoid sexual contact
Avoid close contact with children & pregnant women
Limit travel and using public transportation
Delay return to work

© Copyright 2023 Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. All rights reserved.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of the M42 group, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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