How Long Does It Take I-131 to decay completely?

The majority of I-131 will be eliminated from the human body in 3–5 days, through natural decay, and through excretion in sweat and urine. Smaller amounts will continue to be released over the next several weeks, as the body processes thyroid hormones created with the I-131.

Why is iodine-131 used as a tracer?

Radioactive iodine (I-131), an isotope of iodine that emits radiation, is used for medical purposes. When a small dose of I-131 is swallowed, it is absorbed into the bloodstream in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It is concentrated from the blood by the thyroid gland, where it begins destroying the gland’s cells.

What type of radiation does iodine-131 emit?

The most widely used iodine radioisotope, iodine-131, emits radiation in the form of medium energy gamma rays and beta particles, which disrupts molecules in cells and deposits energy in tissues, causing damage.

Is iodine-131 natural or synthetic?

Iodine-131 is an artificially produced fission by-product resulting from nuclear weapons, above-ground nuclear testing, and nuclear reactor operations. Iodine-131 is found in the gaseous and liquid waste streams of nuclear power plants, but is not released to the environment during normal reactor operations.

What are the side effects of iodine-131?

Common side effects of Sodium Iodide I 131 include nausea, vomiting, chest pain, rapid heart rate, itching skin, rash, and hives. Dosing of Sodium Iodide I 131 ranges widely from 5 to 1000 microcuries, depending on the procedure being performed. Sodium Iodide I 131 may interact with other drugs.

How long am I radioactive after radioactive iodine treatment?

Your doctor will give you a wallet card with information about your treatment. The card states that you received treatment in Nuclear Medicine and that you may give off small amounts of radiation for up to 3 months after your treatment.

How long does it take to feel better after radioactive iodine?

It usually gets better within 4 to 8 weeks. It can help to drink plenty of fluids after your treatment.