Propylthiouracil is a prescription used for the treatment of overactive thyroid called hyperthyroidism. This occurs when your thyroid gland makes too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate your body’s metabolism causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid irregular heartbeat. This type of condition can mimic other health problems which can make it harder for doctors to diagnose. It may also cause a wide variety of signs and symptoms including:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Unintentional weight loss even when your appetite and food intake stay the same or increase
- Pounding of your heart
- Anxiety, nervousness, and irritability
- Pounding of your heart
- Increase sensitivity to heat
- Changes in menstrual patterns
- Changes in bowel patterns
- Muscle weakness or fatigue
- Skin thinning
- Difficulty sleeping
Grave’s disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones. Because thyroid hormones affect a number of different body systems. Grave’s disease can be wide-ranging and significantly influence your overall well-being. Although this disease may affect anyone, it is more common among women and before the age of 40. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism may cause problems with the bones, heart, muscles, fertility, and menstrual cycle. Grave’s disease can also affect your eyes and skin. Symptoms of this disease may include:
- Frequent bowel movements
- Heat intolerance
- Muscle weakness
- Trembling hands
This medication is in the class of anti-thyroid agents. This stops the thyroid gland from making too much thyroid hormone. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription in 1947. This is supplied as tablets for oral use. Each tablet contains Propylthiouracil as an active ingredient. It is a white crystalline substance that has a bitter taste. It is very slightly soluble in water. Propylthiouracil is available in the dosage form of 50 mg.
How does Propylthiouracil work?
Propylthiouracil lessens the amount of thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is using iodine as a chemical used in the formation of thyroid hormones. Iodine needs to be changed in the body to a useable form before it may be combined with other components to form thyroid hormones.
This drug works by inhibiting the transfiguration of iodine to its useable form. Propylthiouracil also blocks the combination of converted iodine with other components to form thyroid hormones. This results in a decreased production of thyroid hormones. Propylthiouracil can only lessen the production of thyroid hormones. It can’t decrease the blood levels of previously produced thyroid hormones. These must be used up by the body before the thyroid hormone blood levels begin to reduce. This can take three to four weeks of treatment.
How to use Propylthiouracil?
The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. You should take the right dose, not more or less. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without the consent of your doctor. It may cause another complication or may worsen your current condition. For the best benefit from this product, take it regularly.
Propylthiouracil is to be taken by mouth usually three times a day every 8 hours or as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this treatment. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
What are the side effects of Propylthiouracil?
Common side effects:
- Stomach upset
- Mild rash or itching
- Joint or muscle pain
- Spinning sensation
- Hair loss
- Decreased sense of taste
Tell your doctor right away if you have these unlikely but serious side effects of Propylthiouracil:
- Changes in the amount of urine
- Joint pain
- Sore throat
- Chills, fever, or cough
- Rust-colored, dark, brown, or foamy urine
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Coughing up blood
Get emergency medical help right away if you have these signs of an allergic reaction:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your lips, face, tongue, and throat
Warnings and Precautions
- You should avoid drinking alcohol while having this medication. It may make you drowsier.
- This is not recommended for use during pregnancy unless it is given by your doctor. If you get pregnant while having this medication, call your doctor and stop taking this drug.
- If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first.
- This drug may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Don’t drive or do dangerous activities until you know how this affects you.
- Tell your doctor if you are allergic to it. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
- Let your doctor know about the drugs you take including vitamins, prescription medicine, and herbal supplements.
- Do not share this drug with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
- While having this treatment, limit alcoholic beverages.
- Before having this drug, tell your doctor if you have a medical history of blood disorders or liver disease.
- This is not recommended for use in children under 6 years of age.
- Use this with caution in people with decreased kidney or liver function.
- This may rarely cause liver problems. Your doctor may want to have your regular blood tests to monitor your liver function while having this treatment.
- This may also lessen the normal number of blood cells in the blood. You should consult your doctor right away.
- Keep this prescription far from heat, moisture, and reach of children.