He warned that the drug could cause serious reactions in some people and even backfire in the case of an actual emergency, putting people past a two-week window of safe dosage. After that period of time, the drug can induce severe hypothyroidism, a condition that essentially shuts down thyroid function.

“It is inappropriate, foolhardy and dangerous to be taking iodine supplements at this time,” Wartofsky said. “It’s very important to hold off until it’s absolutely necessary.”