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Methimazole

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Brand Name: Northyx, Tapazole

Generic Name: Methimazole

Drug Class: Antithyroid Agents

What Is Methimazole and How Does It Work?

Methimazole is used to treat overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). It works by stopping the thyroid gland from making too much thyroid hormone.

Methimazole is available under the following different brand names: Northyx, and Tapazole.

Dosages of Methimazole:

Adult and Pediatric Dosage Forms and Strengths

Tablet

  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg

Dosing Consideraations – Should be Given as Follows:

Hyperthyroidism

Adult:

  • Mild: 15 mg/day orally divided every 8 hours initially
  • Moderate: 30-40 mg/day orally divided every 8 hours initially
  • Severe: 60 mg/day orally divided every 8 hours initially
  • Maintenance: 5-15 mg/day orally divided every 8 hours

Pediatric:

  • Initial: 0.4-0.7 mg/kg/day orally divided every 8 hours
  • Maintenance: 1/3-2/3 of initial orally dosage divided every 8 hours orally
  • Not to exceed 30 mg/day

Graves Disease

  • Adult: 10-20 mg/day orally; after euthyroidism is achieved, reduce dosage by 50% and administer for 12-18 months
  • Pediatric: 0.2-0.5 mg/kg/day orally; after euthyroidism is achieved, reduce dosage by 50% and administer for 1-2 years

Thyrotoxic Crisis

  • 20-30 mg every 6-12 hours for short term, then reduce dosage to maintenance (5-15 mg/day) or reduce frequency to every 12 hours or every 24 hours

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Methimazole?

Common side effects of methimazole include:

Rare but serious side effects of methimazole include:

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Methimazole?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

Severe interactions of methimazole include:

Serious interactions of methimazole include:

Methimazole has moderate interactions with at least 23 different drugs.

Mild interactions of methimazole include:

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Methimazole?

Warnings

This medication contains methimazole. Do not take Northyx or Tapazole if you are allergic to methimazole or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately

Contraindications

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Methimazole?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Methimazole?"

Cautions

  • Liver disease
  • Hepatic reactions may occur
  • Pregnancy
  • Lupus-like syndrome reported
  • Antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-positive vasculitis reported
  • Dosage greater than 40 mg/day
  • Patient age greater 40 years
  • Concurrent administration of other agranulocytosis-causing drugs
  • Risk of rare but serious agranulocytosis, cholestastic jaundice, and rare congenital abnormalities (propylthiouracil [PTU] preferred in pregnancy)
  • Prolonged treatment may cause hypothyroidism
  • Discontinue if agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, hepatitis, fever, or exfoliative dermatitis occurs
  • 10 times more potent than PTU, but action may be less consistent
  • High rate of relapse (more likely in smokers)

Pregnancy and Lactation

Reviewed on 6/2/2017

Medscape. Methimazole.
https://reference.medscape.com/drug/tapazole-methimazole-342734
RxList. Tapazole Side Effects Center.
https://www.rxlist.com/tapazole-side-effects-drug-center.htm

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