Tags: Thyroid Disorders | hyperthyroidism | medication | antithyroid | side effects

Hyperthyroidism Medication: Benefits and Side Effects of an Antithyroid

By    |   Thursday, 02 Jun 2016 04:56 PM

If you have been diagnosed with an overactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe hyperthyroidism medication to get your hormones back in balance. As with any drug, the benefits can be accompanied by side effects you should know.

According to Endocrine Web, treatment of hyperthyroidism with antithyroid drugs is common, particularly if the condition is a result of the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease.

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In the U.S. two main drugs are used to treat hyperthyroidism: propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole (Tapazole). Each drug has its unique advantages and disadvantages, although they both work by preventing the thyroid gland from producing too much thyroid hormone.

Unlike radioactive iodine, another treatment option for hyperthyroidism, taking antithyroid drugs will not permanently destroy the thyroid gland, explains WebMD. These drugs can make you feel better and prevent more serious complications of an overactive thyroid, but they can take several weeks to produce symptom relief and several months before hormones are properly balanced.

According to the Mayo Clinic, both commercially available antithyroid medications can cause serious and life-threatening liver damage, though this is rare. PTU can cause the most serious liver damage, so it should only be used if the patient cannot tolerate Tapazole. Both drugs can make you more susceptible to infection.

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Endocrine Web lists some more common side effects of hyperthyroidism medication, which include itching, skin rash, hair loss, and fever. Some patients experience less common side effects such as swelling, numbness, headache, heartburn, muscle and joint pain, and nausea.

Most patients do not take hyperthyroidism medications for life because the chance of serious side effects will increase with longer treatment protocols, says Endocrine Web. Most courses of treatment will be no longer than 18 months after which there is a chance of relapse with the thyroid gland producing too much hormone once again.

To lessen this risk, most dosages of antithyroid drugs are very gradually decreased toward the end of the treatment period.

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If you have been diagnosed with an overactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe hyperthyroidism medication to get your hormones back in balance. As with any drug, the benefits can be accompanied by side effects you should know.
hyperthyroidism, medication, antithyroid, side effects
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2016-56-02
Thursday, 02 Jun 2016 04:56 PM
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