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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      Hi, Joanie:

      It is just like the uptake scan, only the pills you will be given will have a bigger dose of radioactive iodine in them. You just swallow it (or them) and leave. Prior to being given them, though, a doctor will explain the test, what to expect, and what precautions to take with other people for a few days. There are only two main side effects that I can remember. The first was extremely minor for me, and that was a slight soreness in the throat area for a while (not long) — kind of like an external sore throat. Had the doctor not warned me about it, though, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it. The second side effect is that about a week after you swallow the pills you could feel yourself more hyper than before. This is due to something called “escape phenomenon”. The damaged thyroid cells, which have been storing hormone, will release it into your body more or less all at once. This only lasted a couple of days for me, and my doctor just had me increase my dose of beta blockers during that period.

      The RAI does not work all at once. You will not feel a “crash” of hormones, but gradually, over a period of weeks, you should become less and less hyper, possibly even going hypo briefly. Having the blood checked fairly regularly is important to follow the progress.

      Wishing you good luck, and good health soon,


        Post count: 93172

        Hi Joanie,
        I had RAI about 4yrs 3 months ago. The doctor will first have you
        sign a consent form. (I would as for a copy of this). Next for
        me the RAI was taen in pilll form. The doctor removed it from a metal
        container- Markked “radioactive material” I took the pill with water and
        that was it.

        +++Some general guidelines for you+++

        The iodine will remain in your thyroid in your neck for a few days
        and will leave your body through your urine. It can also be found in
        your blood, saliva, and breast milk, and can cross
        the placenta to an unborn baby if you are pregnant.

        1. Drink at least 4 glasees of water or other liquids each day.
        2. Wash your hands carefully bewfore preparing food for other people
        3. Use seperate bath towels to avoid contamination of others.
        4. Try to stay two to three feet away from other people.
        5. If you have small children limit yur contact to less than 2 hours a day.
        6. Avoid pregnancy for about 6 months. As your doctor about this, for there may be
        special circumstances to consider in planning pregnancy related to your particular
        thyroid problem.

        I hope this helps. Best of Luck to you!

        Peace, Health and Happiness,


          Post count: 93172


          its as simple as the scan
          nothing to worry about you
          will be fine no taste,no pain.

          take care, steve

            Post count: 93172

            I had my second RAI treatment a month ago. My first one was last Sept ’97. I don’t remember any side effects in particular after the first treatment. And everyone I asked said “No side effects. It’s just a pill or two and some water”. The water was funny-tasting (hospital tap water-yuck!) I had forgotten my resolution (made after taking the pills for the thyroid uptake & scan) to bring bottled water with me.

            After 2 months of attempting to wean myself off of the tapazole,
            my endo. informed me I was going hyper- again. So we scheduled another round of RAI.

            The I-131 dosage I had for the second RAI was higher than the first time and the radiologist and my endo. were pretty certain that the second RAI would make me hypo-. Since it’s only been a month, it’s too soon to tell – but I can say that I have actually felt MUCH better in the last 2 weeks. The first 2 weeks after the higher dosage RAI brought me an almost constant sore throat. This really bugged me and made me even more irritable and anti-social because a)there were supposed to be NO side effects (this echoed in my ears from the first RAI treatment) and b)one of my hobbies is singing with a community chorus.

            I got on the web and found an article on radioactive iodine treatment by Marc Coel, M.D. posted at the Diabetes & Hormone Center of the Pacific that listed sore throat as one of the few RAI side effects.
            I ended up taking tylenol and sucking on hard candy for those 2 weeks and eventually felt better.

            One more note: among the recommendations for post RAI precautions is to avoid prolonged contact with others, especially children and pregnant women. They should also add PETS to the list. My poor kitty couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let her curl up next to me on the couch for a week!


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