KI is available at no cost to people who live or work within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant in Michigan. This section explains what KI is used for and how you can get it. Click here to download the Voucher. Take the completed voucher to a participating pharmacy for KI. 

What Is KI?

KI (the chemical name for the drug “potassium iodide”) is a non-prescription iodine pill. Iodine is an element that is found in nature and is also an important part of your diet. Because iodine is so important for your health, it is added to table salt. However, the iodine in the KI pill is much stronger than the iodine in table salt. Table salt cannot be used as a replacement for KI.

How Does KI Work?

In the unlikely event of a serious accident at a nuclear power plant, radioactive iodine could be released into the air. Like regular iodine, radioactive iodine can be stored in your thyroid gland. This can cause thyroid cancer or other thyroid problems over time. Children are most at risk of thyroid injury from exposure to radioactive iodine. KI protects your thyroid by filling it up with a safe form of iodine so that it can’t take in radioactive iodine.

It is important for you to know that KI does not protect your whole body from radioactive material. KI only protects your thyroid gland.

How Can I Get KI?

Take the voucher to one of the participating pharmacies listed there. The pharmacy will provide you with the amount of KI that you need. Place the KI in a safe, dry location and keep it in its foil packet. You should keep it on hand as part of your emergency supply kit. Be sure to get your KI now. You will not be able to get it from the pharmacy during a nuclear power plant emergency.

When Should I Take KI?

Take KI only if a “General Emergency” has been declared at the nuclear power plant near you. If the emergency sirens sound for three minutes or more, tune to your local radio or television station. Follow the instructions given by emergency officials. You may be instructed to shelter-in-place or evacuate. You should only take KI if the radio or TV announcements say that the power plant has declared a “General Emergency”, the most serious type of plant emergency.

If you are told to evacuate and don’t have your KI readily available, don’t waste time searching for it. Evacuating or sheltering-in-place is the best way to protect yourself from harm due to radiation.

How Much KI Should I Take?

One dose protects the thyroid for 24 hours. You should be safely evacuated within the 24 hour time period

If you already have KI tablets from this program, check the expiration date on the box. If it has expired, go to one of the pharmacies listed below to replace your KI with a new supply.

Use The Information Listed Below To Take The Correct Amount For One Dose.

• Adults over 18 years of any weight including pregnant or breastfeeding women should take two 65 mg tablets.
• Children 12 years to 18 years who weigh at least 150 pounds should take two 65 mg tablets.
• Children 12 to 18 years who weigh less than 150 pounds should take one 65 mg tablet.
• Children 3 years to 12 years should take one 65 mg tablet.
• Children 1 month to 3 years should take 1/2 of a 65 mg tablet, crushed into liquid. (Instructions for crushing and mixing will be provided by the pharmacy.)
• Babies at birth to 1 month should be given 1/4 of a 65 mg tablet, crushed into liquid. (Instructions for crushing and mixing will be provided by the pharmacy.)

What Side Effects Could I Have From Taking KI?

Side effects are unlikely when KI is used at the recommended dose and for a short time. Minor side effects can include an upset stomach, skin rash or a metallic taste. An allergic reaction can have more serious symptoms like fever, joint pain, swelling of the face or body or trouble breathing. Severe shortness of breath requires immediate medical attention!

Who Should Not Take KI?

You should not take KI if:

• You are allergic to iodine. A shellfish allergy may not mean that you are allergic to iodine. Talk to your physician or allergist if you have a shellfish allergy.
• You have dermatitis herpetiformus (DH) or hypocomplementemic urticarial vasculitis syndrome (HUVS), very rare skin conditions.

Check with your doctor if:

• You already have a thyroid condition.
• You are unsure whether or not to take KI.

How Does This Program Apply To Businesses?

Businesses can obtain KI for their employees, clients, or patients. Businesses with more than 400 employees/clients/patients should call or e-mail the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to arrange for delivery of KI. If a business chooses to participate in the program, it is responsible for having a dispensing plan that complies with these instructions. If your business chooses not to participate, you can provide a copy of this voucher to your employees so that they can obtain their personal supply of KI.

For more information go to the MDHHS website, www.michigan.gov/ki, call MDHHS at (517) 335-8150 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., or send an e-mail to mdhhs-ki@michigan.gov.

Michigan Department Of Health And Human Services Potassium Iodide (KI) Voucher
​To get KI, please print and fill out the voucher, located here, and take it to one of the pharmacies listed at the bottom of the voucher. You must live or work within 10 miles of the Palisades plant, be 18 years or older, and provide government-issued photo ID.

READ THIS INFORMATION BEFORE SIGNING THE VOUCHER. SIGNING THE FORM MEANS THAT YOU AGREE TO AND UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING:

I understand that:

• KI is an over-the-counter, non-prescription drug.
• KI is to be taken only when a General Emergency has been declared at the Palisades power plant.
• KI is NOT a substitute for evacuation or sheltering-in-place. I will follow the instructions of emergency officials.
• KI only protects the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine. It does not protect the rest of the body. In a nuclear power plant emergency, there could be health risks from other forms of radiation.
• Although taking KI is usually safe, it can cause problems in people who have thyroid disease or are allergic to iodine. People who have dermatitis herpetiformus or hypocomplementemic urticaria vasculitis (HUVS), two very rare skin diseases, should not take KI without first talking to their doctor.

I agree that:

• I will follow all instructions on how to use potassium iodide (KI).
• I will hold the pharmacy harmless from all liability, claims, suits or actions related to the use, delivery, labeling, and packaging of KI.

Additional Information For Businesses

• I own or represent the business/institutions named on the voucher.
• This business/institution will provide information on dosing and medical contraindications to all employees/clients prior to distributing KI. This information is provided in each box of KI and on the MDHHS website at www.michigan.gov/ki.

This KI program is run by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. If I have questions I can call (517) 335-8150 or send an e-mail to mdhhs-ki@michigan.gov for more information.


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