How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Iodoquinol belongs to the group of medications known as amebicides. These medications are used to treat infections caused by one-celled animals known as protozoa.

Iodoquinol is used most often to treat a condition known as amoebiasis. This infection often has no symptoms except the passage of cysts (a form of the amoeba) in the stool. Some cases of amoebiasis are associated with diarrhea or constipation, flatulence, and cramping abdominal pain. The stools sometimes contain mucus and blood. Relief from the symptoms of amoebiasis usually begins within a week or so of therapy.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

210 mg
Each tablet contains iodoquinol USP 210 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, lactose anhydrous, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and povidone.

How should I use this medication?

Adults and adolescents over 12: The recommended dose of iodoquinol for adults and adolescents over 12 years is 650 mg 3 times daily for 20 days.

Children 6 to 12: For children 6 to 12 years of age, the recommended dose is 420 mg 3 times a day for 20 days.

Children under 6: For children under 6 years of age, the recommended dose is 40 mg per kilogram of body weight daily divided into 3 equal doses. The dose for this age group should not exceed 1,950 mg in a 24-hour period.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

Iodoquinol is taken after meals or with milk to prevent stomach upset. You should take it for the full period of time prescribed, even if you are feeling better. If you stop taking it earlier, reinfection may occur.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Iodoquinol must be taken regularly as prescribed so that levels of the medication in the intestine are always high enough to be effective.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from heat and direct light, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not store iodoquinol in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink, as moisture may cause the medication to break down.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to iodoquinol or any ingredients of this medication
  • are allergic to iodine-containing preparations, or medications in the same chemical family as iodoquinol
  • have liver damage
  • have optic neuropathy (a type of nerve damage in the eye)

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea
  • fever or chills
  • headache
  • itching of the rectal area
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • agitation
  • blurred vision or any change in vision
  • decreased vision or eye pain
  • forgetfulness
  • increased weakness
  • numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
  • skin rash, hives or itching
  • swelling of neck

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.

Eye disease: Iodoquinol may cause certain types of eye disorders to become worse. If you have problems with your eye sight, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver function: Iodoquinol is removed from the body by the liver and may cause liver problems. If you have liver disease or decreased liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Thyroid disease: This medication may cause laboratory tests for thyroid function to be inaccurate. If you have thyroid disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Pregnancy: Studies demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of using this medication during pregnancy are not available. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast feeding: It is not known if iodoquinol passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.