When giving RAI for cancer, there are two parts to treatment.
- Preparing your body for RAI. You will need to a. Go on a low-iodine diet, and b. Increase the level of TSH in your blood (to be most effective). This can be achieved in two ways:
- Go off thyroid replacement and become hypothyroid (with all its side effects)
- Temporarily raise the TSH by artificially stimulating the the TSH levels to increase. This is done by giving a medication called Thyrogen (recombinant human TSH) for two days before I131
- Administration of the RAI pill (or liquid)
- Sometimes this will require hospitalization for up to 24 hours (if you get a high dose and depending on the state you live in)
- ‘Contact’ precautions for a few days (This includes: separate beds, no close contact with animals, pregnant women, or young children; do not share food, utensils, etc..)