Chemical Considerations Related to The Dilution of Commercial 10% Povidone-Iodine For Use In The COVID-19 Pandemic

While personal protective equipment is crucial in the fight against COVID-19, there are additional recommendations and protocols being instituted using nasal and oral antisepsis as an adjunct to help prevent viral spread. Povidone-iodine is a well-known antiviral agent commercially available in the US at concentrations between 5%-10%. Repeated use of lower-concentration povidone-iodine is frequently being implemented in infection control measures using nasal and oral antisepsis. This brief report describes the chemistry of dilute povidone-iodine solutions and highlights the challenges that exist in simply diluting the commonly available commercial 5-10% povidone-iodine solutions. Safety and efficacy could be improved with solutions specifically manufactured at lower concentration with processes that considered the multiple equilibria involved in povidone-iodine solutions, the pH of the effective solutions, and the effects of salts and other excipients in the formulation.
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