Although preparations containing iodine have been employed since the dawn of medicine, when burnt seaweed was prescribed for the treatment of goiter,1 reports on the occurrence of goiter and thyroid dysfunction directly attributable to the administration of iodides appeared only since 1953 and are still relatively few.
Since the discovery of the element in the early 19th century physicians have empirically prescribed its various compounds for a multiplicity of clinical disorders. The use of iodide preparations as expectorants is one of the main current therapeutic applications of the drug. The rationale for its administration is its ability to stimulate bronchial secretion and produce liquefaction and reduction of the viscosity of sputum.2 Many preparations intended for the relief of bronchial asthma contain iodide and in many cases patients have been known to take such drugs continuously for many months or years.
Certain undesirable side-effects of the prolonged administration of