propylthiouracil

Pronunciation

Generic Name: propylthiouracil (PRO pil THYE oh URE a sil)
Brand Name:

What is propylthiouracil?

Propylthiouracil prevents the thyroid gland from producing too much thyroid hormone.

Propylthiouracil is used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or Graves' disease.

Propylthiouracil may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about propylthiouracil?

Do not use propylthiouracil if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Propylthiouracil can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use propylthiouracil while you are breast-feeding a baby.

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Propylthiouracil can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Propylthiouracil may cause severe liver symptoms. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms: low fever, itching, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking propylthiouracil?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to propylthiouracil, or if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:

  • liver problems; or

  • a blood disorder.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use propylthiouracil if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Propylthiouracil can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use propylthiouracil while you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take propylthiouracil?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Propylthiouracil can be taken with or without food.

Use propylthiouracil regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Propylthiouracil can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, joint pain, fever, sore throat, itching, rash, swelling, loss of appetite, numbness or tingling, and feeling restless or drowsy.

What should I avoid while taking propylthiouracil?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Propylthiouracil side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking propylthiouracil and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, sore throat, headache, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), unusual weakness;

  • dry cough, trouble breathing; or

  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Propylthiouracil may also cause severe liver symptoms. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms:

  • low fever, itching;

  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;

  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, vomiting;

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • mild skin rash or itching;

  • mild joint or muscle pain;

  • decreased sense of taste; or

  • hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Propylthiouracil dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperthyroidism:

Initial: 100 to 150 mg orally every 8 hours. Rarely, a patient may require 200 to 300 mg orally every 8 hours. Initial doses are continued until 2 months after symptoms are fully controlled.

Maintenance: 100 to 150 mg/day in equally divided doses every 8 to 12 hours. Therapy is usually continued until spontaneous remission occurs (up to 1 to 2 years) or ablative therapy is undertaken.

Usual Adult Dose for Thyroid Storm:

Initial: 100 to 200 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours on the first day of treatment.

Maintenance: once full control has been achieved on the initial dosage, gradually taper the dose to 100 to 150 mg daily, administered in equally divided doses every 8 hours.

Concomitant use of a beta-blocker is usually recommended to help control the symptoms of thyroid storm.

Usual Adult Dose for Alcoholic Liver Damage:

100 mg orally 3 times a day. While data are limited, long-term administration (up to 2 years) may reduce mortality associated with alcoholic liver disease.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hyperthyroidism:

Initial: 0 to 4 weeks: 5 to 10 mg/kg/day orally in equally divided doses administered every 8 hours.
1 month to 12 years: 5 to 7 mg/kg/day orally in equally divided doses administered every 8 hours.

Alternative: 6 to 10 years: 50 to 150 mg/day orally in equally divided doses administered every 8 hours.
Greater than or equal to 10 years:150 to 300 mg/day orally in equally divided doses administered every 8 hours.

Maintenance: 1/3 to 2/3 of the initial dose orally in equally divided doses administered every 8 to 12 hours; this begins usually after 2 months on an effective initial dosage.

What other drugs will affect propylthiouracil?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • digoxin (Lanoxin, digitalis);

  • theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Uniphyl);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); or

  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin, Tenoretic), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with propylthiouracil. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about propylthiouracil.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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