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Antithyroid Drugs

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The disease known as hyperthyroidism, which is characterized by an overactive thyroid gland that produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones, is treated with antithyroid medicines. By preventing the thyroid gland from producing thyroid hormones, these medications aid in the normalization of hormone levels. Antithyroid medications fall into two categories: thioamides and iodine solutions. The antithyroid medications that are prescribed the most frequently are thioamides, which include methimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU). They function by obstructing the thyroid gland's capacity to use iodine for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Because methimazole has a longer half-life than PTU, which usually necessitates many doses throughout the day, it is frequently favored because it can be taken once daily. Usually, these medications are administered orally as pills. Methimazole is frequently the first medication of choice because of its exceptional ability to reduce thyroid hormone levels. Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme that is essential to the production of thyroid hormones and is inhibited by it. Methimazole decreases the synthesis of the two primary thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), by inhibiting this enzyme. Methimazole is not the only thioamide medication that functions similarly to propylthiouracil (PTU). In addition to inhibiting thyroid peroxidase, it also prevents peripheral tissues from converting T4 to T3. Because of this, PTU is especially helpful in situations like thyroid storm where quick hyperthyroidism control is required. Potassium iodide and other iodine solutions function by flooding the thyroid gland with iodine, which momentarily stops the release of thyroid hormones. These solutions are frequently utilized for a brief period of time in conjunction with thioamides prior to surgery or radioactive iodine therapy in order to rapidly lower thyroid hormone levels and diminish the gland's vascularity. Antithyroid medications do have possible negative effects, despite the fact that they can effectively manage hyperthyroidism. The most typical adverse effects are rashes on the skin, itching, pain in the joints, and disturbed stomach. Even though they are uncommon, more severe side effects include liver damage and agranulocytosis—a sharp decrease in white blood cell count—need to be treated right away. In summary, by preventing the synthesis of thyroid hormones, antithyroid medications are essential in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Iodine solutions are utilized to quickly and temporarily lower hormone levels, whereas thioamides such as methimazole and PTU are the cornerstones of treatment. Using these drugs safely and successfully requires close observation and knowledge of any possible negative effects.