The number of people asking for iodine pills in pharmacies has increased in the past few days, the largest pharmacy network in Slovakia, Dr.Max, has confirmed.
Usually, iodine pills are in very low demand in the country.
“Given the unexpectedly higher interest, I can confirm there is a lack of iodine pills in the entire network of our pharmacies, with some local exceptions,” Peter Sedláček, PR manager of Dr.Max, told the TASR newswire.
He added the pills should be restocked in the coming days.
However, the Health Ministry does not recommend using iodine prophylaxis as preventative medicine.
“We don’t recommend pre-stock with the given pills,” Zuzana Eliášová, the ministry’s spokesperson, wrote in the statement. “The long-term use of iodine prophylaxis can pose a threat to the cardiovascular system and damage the thyroid.”
The use of iodine prophylaxis belongs to the protective measures in the case of a nuclear accident when radionuclide leaks into the environment, to block the uptake of radioiodine.
If there were any danger of a nuclear attack, the state would take all steps necessary for protecting its citizens, she added.
Radiation situation standard
The radiation situation in Slovakia and the presence of radionuclides in the environment and food network are regularly monitored by the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ).
“The radiation situation on the territory of Slovakia is currently standard,” ÚVZ wrote in the statement. “There have not been any deflections from commonly measured values recorded yet.”
If there were any changes, the ÚVZ will respond and inform the public about further steps immediately.