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Hyperthyroidism (cont.)

Hyperthyroidism Treatment

The treatments discussed here are for all causes of hyperthyroidism except for subacute thyroiditis. Subacute thyroiditis typically gets better without any specific treatment.

The treatment options for hyperthyroidism caused by Graves' disease or nodular thyroid disease are divided into two sections.

  1. treatments that decrease thyroid hormone production, and
  2. symptomatic treatment to alleviate the effects of excess thyroid hormone.

Although the most common treatment of overactive thyroid disease is radioactive iodine ablation, many patients are initially treated with antithyroid medication to normalize thyroid hormone levels prior to either radioactive iodine ablation or thyroidectomy.

Surgery is used to treat hyperthyroidism if the patient requires a quick reduction in thyroid hormone levels such as during pregnancy.

Antithyroid Medications

  • Effect: Decreased thyroid hormone production
  • Indications:
    • Hyperthyroidism from multiple causes
    • Low doses of methimazole (<10-15mg/day) are safe in pregnancy or postpartum in a woman breastfeeding
    • Elderly persons or cardiac patients requiring 'pretreatment' with antithyroid medications before radioiodine therapy
  • Risks :
    • Skin rashes, agranulocytosis (compromised immune system), and hepatitis
    • Increased risk of liver failure. FDA black box warnings restricts use of PTU to those patients who cannot tolerate methimazole or are in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hyperthyroidism »

Thyrotoxicosis is the hypermetabolic condition associated with elevated levels of free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3), or both.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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