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How Do Anti-Radiation Pills Work

KI pill for anti-radiationIf you are not overtly opposed to all things Sci-Fi – as my wife is – I highly recommend the show Battlestar Gallactica. I’m on season two, and some of the characters have survived a nuclear holocaust for months by popping anti-radiation drugs. I wondered if I too could survive a nuclear fallout with the right meds.

Anti-radiation pills do exist, and are effective at reducing radiation poisoning, but long term exposure would not be survivable, and the pills only work to prevent the poisoning. They have no effect if you have already been exposed.

The pills are made of Potassium Iodine (KI) which fill your thyroid gland with good iodine before it’s able to absorb radioactive iodine. This protects your thyroid from radiation, which is very important, but it doesn’t protect your lungs, skin, and other internal organs.

So God forbid you find yourself walking around in a nuclear wasteland with a box of KI pills, remember that Sci-Fi has the Fi for a reason. Take your pills, but make your way underground (Brendan Fraser style) ASAP.

Can a pill save you from radiation poisoning?
Acute Radiation Poisoning 

CategoryHow it Works Tagged , ,
  • ReidC

    Oddly, I’m re-watching Battlestar Galactica right now, and googled this questions for the same reason! What the Frack? Thanks for the answer!

  • Battlestar

    That is Frakking funny because I too am watching Battlestar Galactica and was wondering the same thing.

  • M Demetrius

    If there were a large scale nuclear disaster, it would be difficult to know if your immediate area were exposed without some radiation detection instrument.  One sci-fi scenario precedes a nuclear attack with an EMP attack, which would eliminate electronics, including “Geiger counters”. 


    • Dmitry

      there are many Geiger counters that are water and EMP proof so go buy yourself one

  • ask

    vodka best known non lethal anti rad drug