A member asked:

Is povidone iodine and iodine the same?

6 doctors weighed in across 3 answers
Dr. James Chu answered

Specializes in Endocrinology

Povidone iodine (betadine) is found in several topical preparations (scrub, spray, swabs, pads, etc) as a strong antiseptic, used to prevent bacterial growth. Iodine is a chemical element that the thyroid gland uses to synthesize thyroid hormone. If you mean tincture of iodine, this is a disinfectant also, with 2-7% iodine. Povidone iodine is less toxic to human cells than tincture of iodine.

Answered Jun 25, 2019


Dr. David Geffner answered

Specializes in Endocrinology

Povidone-iodine is a combination of polyvinylpyrrolidone (povidone, pvp) and elemental iodine. It contains from 9.0% to 12.0% available iodine and is used topically to fight infection. Iodine is an element. It can be present in many forms besides povidone-iodine.

Answered Nov 10, 2017


Dr. Charles Davant answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

This is an antiseptic that contains iodine, but it's not pure iodine.

Answered May 24, 2016



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