Propylthiouracil is used to treat hyperthyroidism (a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, speeding the body’s metabolism, and causing certain symptoms) in adults and children 6 years of age or older. Propylthiouracil is in a class of medications called antithyroid agents. It works by stopping the thyroid gland from making thyroid hormone.
Side Effects Of Propylthiouracil
Propylthiouracil may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- hair loss
- difficulty tasting food
- numbness, burning, or tingling of the hands or feet
- joint or muscle pain
- swelling of the neck
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- sore throat, fever, chills, cough, or other signs of infection
- skin rash, hives, blisters, bumps or peeling
- dark, rust-colored, brown or foamy urine
- swelling of the face, eyes, stomach, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- chest pain
- shortness of breath or wheezing
- coughing up blood
Propylthiouracil may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking propylthiouracil:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to propylthiouracil, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in propylthiouracil tablets. Ask your doctor or pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin), beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal); digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxin), and theophylline (Theo-24, Theochron, Theolair). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with propylthiouracil, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the other medications you are taking, even if they do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had leukopenia (decreased white blood cells), thrombocytopenia (decreased platelets), or aplastic anemia (a condition in which the body does not make enough new blood cells), or other conditions that cause low numbers of red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets; or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking propylthiouracil, call your doctor. Your doctor may tell you to take propylthiouracil during the first months of your pregnancy only and then may switch you to methimazole for the rest of your pregnancy. Propylthiouracil may cause severe liver problems in pregnant women and may harm the fetus.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking propylthiouracil.
Dosage Of Propylthiouracil
Propylthiouracil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken three times a day, once every 8 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take propylthiouracil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may decrease your dose of propylthiouracil once your condition is controlled.
Continue to take propylthiouracil even if you feel well. Do not stop taking propylthiouracil without talking to your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to propylthiouracil.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.