Long-Term Use of Antithyroid Drugs

Antithyroid medications (ATDs) have been prescribed for decades as a treatment option for hyperthyroidism in Graves’ disease patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved propylthiouracil in 1947 and methimazole (brand name Tapazole) in 1950. In the past, endocrinologists typically prescribed ATDs for a limited period of time. Some doctors used 12-18 months as a…

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Thyroid Hormone Replacement and other Medications

Thyroid hormone therapy is prescribed to treat low thyroid levels or hypothyroidism. Brand name products, such as Synthroid ®, Levothroid®, or Levoxyl® are preferred over generic brands because the dosage will be more exact. The dose of thyroid hormone will be adjusted for each patient individually. The TSH (thyroid- stimulating hormone) measurement is used most…

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Thyroidectomy for Graves’ – Surgical Option

What are the surgical treatment options? The surgical treatment of Graves’ disease consists of the removal of a portion or all of the thyroid gland in a surgical procedure known as thyroidectomy. This procedure was the treatment of choice for Graves’ disease prior to the 1950’s but is now less popular in the United States…

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Treatment of Graves’ Disease – An Overview

Robert Volpé, M.D. Hyperthyroidism may be defined as the excess production of thyroid hormones. The most common cause is Graves’ disease. Less common causes include toxic adenoma of the thyroid, the hyperthyroid phase of thyroiditis, and hyperthyroidism due to hydatidiform moles or choriocarcinoma. Rare causes are pituitary thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) excess, widespread functioning metastatic thyroid…

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Tapazole and Propylthiouracil in Graves’ Disease

Perhaps one of the first obstacles or uncertainties that a patient faces after being diagnosed with Graves’ disease is deciding on the treatment choice for disrupting or halting the course of Graves’ disease. Since Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the functioning of the thyroid gland, a reasonable choice of therapy would be…

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Treatment of Graves’ Disease by the “Atomic Cocktail”

GDATF Note: This bulletin was published prior to the publication of research linking RAI with an increased risk of new or worsening thyroid eye disease. A referral to an ophthalmologist prior to RAI can help patients evaluate their own risk. The so-called “atomic cocktail” became available after World War II for the treatment of thyroid…

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Graves’ Disease – Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism refers to a condition where too much thyroid hormone is found in the blood. This can be caused by many things. If a person takes thyroid hormone pills inappropriately or in too strong a dose, exogenous hyperthyroidism may result. Sometimes a nodule (usually a small, non-cancerous tumor) within the thyroid gland itself may start…

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Beta Blockers in Graves’ Disease

Inderal® (propranolol), a beta (β)-adrenergic blocking agent, is often used in patients with Graves’ disease. Such therapy is thought to result in more rapid relief of some of the signs and symptoms, but it has no effect on the fundamental disease. Presented below is an overview of β-adrenergic blocking agents, more commonly called β-blockers, in…

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Treating Graves’ – different strokes for different folks

Once the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease is made, the next step is for the patient and the physician to sit down and discuss the most appropriate treatment. The choice of therapy is not an easy one, since all treatments are effective, yet all have certain advantages and disadvantages. Antithyroid Drugs Antithyroid drugs…

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