Update to the contraindications listings for products containing povidone-iodine

news items 600 x 400
Members are advised to review and update their clinical procedures accordingly.

Due to an increase in member enquires, the RCPod is highlighting to members that the British National Formulary (BNF) has updated the listing for povidone-iodine products.

Previously these carried a ‘caution’ information. This has now been updated to carry a ‘contraindications’ information and as such care should be taken when using products containing an active ingredient of povidone-iodine.

All members in clinical practice are reminded to regularly check the BNF for up-to-date changes in relation to any dressings or medicaments used.

The BNF is now available online here.

Members are advised to audit their clinical supplies to identify those which contain povidone-iodine. Examples include Inadine® dressings, Povitulle® dressings, Idoflex® paste and Videne ® solution.

An overview of areas where povidone-iodine containing products are unlikely to be suitable for use are:

  • Where there is a known iodine hypersensitivity (allergy)
  • Before and after the use of radioactive-iodine medication (until permanent healing)
  • For people who take lithium medication
  • If the patient is being treated for kidney problems
  • In the patient is pregnant or breast-feeding
  • In cases of Duhring's herpetiform dermatitis (a specific, rare skin disease)
  • In patients with any thyroid diseases as povidone iodine may be absorbed

Additionally, precautions should be taken when:

  • Used on newborn babies and infants up to the age of six months as povidone-iodine may be absorbed through broken skin
  • Treating deep ulcerative wounds, burns or large injuries.

Members should update themselves on the specific contraindications and risk for each povidone-iodine containing product that they utilise within practise.

Where members use povidone-iodine products in a long-term capacity, a clear rationale for its use should be documented in the patient notes.

It is advised that you should not routinely use povidone-iodine containing products on a patient unless you can check a patient’s kidney and thyroid function, especially where long-term use is being considered.

Alternative dressings and skin preparation products are available with similar functions and less contraindications. Alterative dressing choices include Jelonet, Bactigras and Urgotul. Other dressings are available, in addition to these examples.

To view the updated entries for povidone-iodine, please visit the BNF entry online here and the separate listing for iodine-based dressings here.