Brand Name(s): Ptu
Drug Class: Antithyroid drugs
Propylthiouracil is a prescription drug for hyperthyroidism or Grave's disease with hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when there is too much of the thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland, causing an excessively fast metabolism and other symptoms in patients 6 years old or older. Propylthiouracil prevents the thyroid gland from producing the thyroid hormone.
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One of the major Propylthiouracil uses is to treat toxic multinodular goiter or hypothyroidism. Propylthiouracil is prescribed when other thyroid medications do not work well, when radioactive iodine therapy or thyroid surgery is not an option and to lessen hyperthyroidism symptoms for radioactive iodine therapy thyroidectomy for thyroid gland removal. Propylthiouracil is effective in treating hyperthyroidism because it inhibits thyroid hormone synthesis. It does not interfere with the thyroid hormones from oral intake or injection, nor inactive triiodothyronine and thyroxine in the blood or the thyroid. For pregnant women, Propylthiouracil use is appropriate as an antithyroid drug before or during the first trimester. Below you will find the uses of propylthiouracil.
- Grave's disease
Propylthiouracil dosage form is a tablet and is taken orally. It is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract immediately and metabolized fast. It needs frequent administration. About 35 percent of it is excreted in the urine, in conjugated or intact forms within a day. Propylthiouracil dosage is generally 3 times daily, once every 8 hours. The doctor may decrease the dose when he sees the condition is already controlled. The patient should continue taking propylthiouracil even if he already feels well, and should only stop when directed by the doctor. Long term propylthiouracil treatment may lead to disease remission. Below you will find a typical dosage of propylthiouracil.
- 300-400 mg taken daily
- Your doctor may adjust your dose as necessary
Propylthiouracil Side Effects
Depending to how the patient's body responds to the medication, propylthiouracil side effects may surface. Some may experience them severely, others mild, while some patients adjust to the drug immediately. In some cases, propylthiouracil may cause severe damage of the liver in adults and children, which may sometimes need liver transplants and cause death. Another life-threatening propylthiouracil side effect is a low count of white blood cells, which happens during the first 3 months of treatment. Low count of white blood cell exposes the patient to getting infection easily. Your doctor will take blood tests during your use to ensure safety. Below you will find a list of side effects associated with propylthiouracil. Note that not all possible side effects are listed.
- Hair loss
- Burning, tingling or numbness in the feet or hands
- Pain in the muscle or nerves
- Swelling of neck
- Nausea or vomiting
- Change in or loss of taste
- Enlarged lymph nodes or salivary glands
Propylthiouracil interactions may happen when triggered by other drugs taken by the patient, or by certain medical conditions. You should contact your doctor before taking any medication including over the counter drugs and supplements. You should let your doctor know if you have or have a history of blood disease, liver disease such as jaundice or hepatitis, decreased platelets, thrombocytopenia or aplastic anemia. Below you will find a list of drugs that may interact with propylthiouracil. Note that not all possible interactions are listed.