Generic Name: propylthiouracil (PROE-pil-THYE-oh-URE-a-sil)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.
Severe and sometimes fatal liver problems have been reported in patients who take propylthiouracil. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of liver problems (eg, loss of appetite, itching, stomach pain, dark urine, pale stools, yellowing of the eyes or skin).
Propylthiouracil should usually be used only when other treatments (eg, methimazole, radioactive iodine therapy, surgery) are not effective or appropriate.
Propylthiouracil is used for:
Treating an overactive thyroid gland in certain patients. It may be used to prepare the thyroid gland for surgery or treatment with radioactive iodine, as well as when surgery to remove the thyroid gland is not an option. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Propylthiouracil is an antithyroid agent. It works by reducing the formation of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland.
Do NOT use propylthiouracil if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in propylthiouracil
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using propylthiouracil:
Some medical conditions may interact with propylthiouracil. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of blood or bone marrow problems, liver problems, kidney problems, or lung or breathing problems
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with propylthiouracil. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), digoxin, or theophylline because the risk of their side effects may be increased by propylthiouracil
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if propylthiouracil may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use propylthiouracil:
Use propylthiouracil as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Propylthiouracil comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get propylthiouracil refilled.
- Take propylthiouracil by mouth with or without food.
- Unless directed otherwise by your doctor, space your doses evenly throughout the day.
- If you miss a dose of propylthiouracil, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, take the 2 doses together, then go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use propylthiouracil.
Important safety information:
- Propylthiouracil may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use propylthiouracil with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Severe and sometimes fatal liver problems have been reported in patients who take propylthiouracil. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of liver problems (eg, loss of appetite, itching, stomach pain, dark urine, pale stools, yellowing of the eyes or skin), especially within the first 6 months after you start propylthiouracil.
- Severe, life-threatening blood or bone marrow problems (eg, agranulocytosis) may occur with propylthiouracil. This usually occurs within 3 months after starting propylthiouracil but may also occur after this time. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of infection (eg, fever, sore throat, severe or persistent headache, rash, unusual tiredness or weakness).
- Propylthiouracil may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take propylthiouracil before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including thyroid function, complete blood cell counts, blood clotting (eg, prothrombin time [PT], international normalized ratio [INR]), and liver function, may be performed while you use propylthiouracil. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Propylthiouracil should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 6 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Propylthiouracil should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially severe and sometimes fatal liver problems and blood or bone marrow problems.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Propylthiouracil has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using propylthiouracil while you are pregnant. Propylthiouracil is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use propylthiouracil, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of propylthiouracil:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Dizziness; drowsiness; headache; mild hair loss; mild muscle pain; taste changes or loss.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); change in amount of urine; coughing up blood; joint pain; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; shortness of breath; skin numbness or tingling; swollen or painful lymph nodes; symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, sore throat, cough, severe or persistent headache); symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine; loss of appetite; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes); unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual swelling; unusual or persistent tiredness or weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include fever; headache; itching; joint pain; nausea; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; skin numbness or tingling; stomach upset; unusual swelling; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.Proper storage of propylthiouracil:
Store propylthiouracil at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep propylthiouracil out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about propylthiouracil, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Propylthiouracil is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take propylthiouracil or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about propylthiouracil. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to propylthiouracil. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using propylthiouracil.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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- Drug class: antithyroid agents