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Free anti-radiation tablets for Phuket travelers to Japan



PHUKET: Passengers traveling to areas in Japan where they may be exposed to radiation are being offered free Potassium Iodide tablets at Phuket International Airport.

The anti-radiation tablets are available at a Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) booth set up today on the second floor of Terminal 1.

The booth is open from 6:30am to 9:30pm daily until further notice.

“People are advised to take a tablet each day, from one to 12 hours before entering radioactive areas. One tablet is active for 24 hours,” explained PPHO chief Dr Sak Tanchaikul.

The tablets are available in two dosages: 130 milligrams for adults, and 65mg for children aged 3-18 and not weighing more than 68 kilograms, Dr Sak added.

As of this afternoon, the booth had 320 bottles of the 130mg adult doses and 80 bottles of the 65mg tablets for children, Dr Sak said.

“The first batch of tablets were sent from the US. However, the Ministry of Public Health has ordered the Government Pharmaceutical Organization to produce more of the tablets,” he added.

Pregnant women are advised to take just one tablet – and only once.

“Any people with health conditions such as nephropathy [a kidney condition related to diabetes] or hyperthyroidism are advised not to take the tablets at all,” Dr Sak said.

The tablets may have side effects such as vomiting, skin rashes or stomach ache. “People should consult a doctor or stop taking the tablets if they suffer any strong side effects, Dr Sak said.

“These tablets just provide some protection from radiation. However, the best way not to be affected by radiation is to avoid going near affected areas. Travel to Japan is currently not advised. Go only if necessary,” he added.

— Janpen Upatising


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