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Povidone Iodine

Last updated on 19/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Povidone Iodine


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Betadine, Videne

DRUG CLASS: Antiseptic 

USED FOR: Mouth and throat infections, skin disinfection, vaginal infections


AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 10% w/v (solution)

What is Povidone Iodine for?

Povidone Iodine is a disinfectant and antiseptic against bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, cysts, and spores. It is less potent and less toxic than free iodine. Its uses include the treatment of mouth and throat infections, prevention of eye infection following surgical procedures, disinfecting the skin, especially for minor wounds and infections, as an antiseptic and surgical scrub, and for vaginal infections.

How to use it?

Povidone Iodine can be taken orally or applied to the eyes, skin, or vagina. The dosages for different uses and age groups are listed below: 

For mouth and throat infections

Orally as 1% solution 

Adult / Child 6 years or above
Rinse or gargle 10 mL undiluted solution with an equal volume of warm water for 30 seconds 4 times daily for up to 14 days, or as directed. 


For prevention of eye infection following surgical procedures 

To the eye as 5% solution 

Instill 2-3 drops on the affected eye(s), leave for 2 minutes then rinse off with 0.9% sodium chloride solution. 


As antiseptic 

To the skin as 5-10% solution / 10% gel / 10% ointment / 10% aerosol spray 

Adult / Child
Apply as directed


For vaginal irritation 

To the vagina as 0.3% douche 

Insert once daily for 5-7 days. 

To the vagina as a pessary  

1 pessary well moistened with water, each night for at least 2 weeks, regardless of intervening menstruation.

What are the side effects of Povidone Iodine?

It is rare to experience side effects from Povidone Iodine but local irritation, itchiness, rashing, swelling, burning sensation may occur when Povidone Iodine is applied on the skin. Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may occur with long term use.

Who should not take Povidone Iodine?

– People who are allergic to Povidone Iodine or any ingredient of the formulation.
– People who are taking Lithium.
– Patients with thyroid disorders.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Do not use Povidone Iodine on serious wounds or burns.
– Stop using the drug if skin irritation develops, such as redness, swelling and pain.
– Do not use the drug for more than 1 week. 

Common dosing schedule:
Use Povidone Iodine as per product instructions.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Povidone Iodine may interact with:
– Sodium Picosulfate

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Povidone Iodine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Povidone Iodine is an over-the-counter medicine which can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Povidone Iodine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.