Povidone iodine is used to prevent and treat infection of wounds including ulcers, burns, cuts, minor surgical procedures and other minor injuries. It works by slowly releasing iodine which kills or prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses.

It can be used in:

  • Prevention of infections in wounds including ulcers, burns and cuts
  • Treatment of infection in minor wounds
  • First aid for minor cuts, grazes, burns, abrasions and blisters
  • Antiseptic cleanser for surgeons and theatre staff before surgery
  • Cleaning of a patient’s skin before surgery

Use with caution in persons with kidney disease.

Do not use in persons with known or suspected allergy to iodine, children aged under 2 years or premature babies (depending on brand), deep wounds.

Avoid using in persons with thyroid disease, or those receiving lithium treatment (for bipolar disorder).

  • Skin irritation and allergy
  • Kidney problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Increased acid levels in the blood (metabolic acidosis)
  • Increased sodium in the blood (hypernatraemia)

If any of these side effects persist or you consider them to be severe, inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Before taking povidone iodine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other antiseptics; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a known or suspected sensitivity to iodine, deep wounds, thyroid disease, or are receiving lithium treatment.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following kidney disease.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.


If overdose is suspected, bring the victim to the nearest hospital right away. Symptoms of overdose include metallic taste in the mouth, increased saliva in the mouth, burning or pain in the throat or mouth, irritation and swelling of the eyes, fluid on the lungs (pulmonary oedema), skin problems, stomach problems, diarrhoea, metabolic acidosis (excess acid in the blood), hypernatraemia (increased sodium in the blood) and kidney problems.


Available brands:

  • Bacticide Feminine Wash (Euro-Med)
  • Betadine Cream/Ointment (Mundipharma)
  • Betadine Feminine Wash (Mundipharma)
  • Betadine Topical Solution/Cleanser (Mundipharma)
  • Rhea Povidone Iodine (Philusa)

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