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Propylthiouracil

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/2/2020
Propylthiouracil Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 5/13/2019

Propylthiouracil is an antithyroid drug used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or Graves' disease. Propylthiouracil is available in generic form. Common side effects of propylthiouracil include:

  • stomach upset,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • mild rash or itching,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • joint or muscle pain,
  • decreased sense of taste, or
  • hair loss.

Tell your doctor immediately if you have rare but serious side effects of propylthiouracil including:

Propylthiouracil may rarely cause very serious blood disorders (such as a low number of red cells, white cells, and platelets), especially during the first few months of treatment. Tell your doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat),
  • easy bruising or bleeding, or
  • unusual tiredness.

The initial adult dose of propylthiouracil is 300 mg daily. The usual maintenance dosage is 100 to 150 mg daily. For children 6 to 10 years of age, the initial dosage is 50 to 150 mg daily. For pediatric patients 10 years and over, the initial dosage is 150 to 300 mg daily. Propylthiouracil may interact with digoxin, theophylline, blood thinners, or beta-blockers. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Propylthiouracil should be used only when prescribed during the first 3 months of pregnancy. It is not recommended for use during the last 6 months of pregnancy. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Propylthiouracil Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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.

QUESTION

Where is the thyroid gland located? See Answer
Propylthiouracil Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Propylthiouracil can cause liver damage (especially during the first 6 months of treatment). Liver failure can be fatal or may require a liver transplant. Stop taking propylthiouracil and call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver damage:

  • nausea, vomiting, upper stomach pain;
  • itching;
  • fever, tiredness;
  • loss of appetite;
  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, feeling light-headed;
  • unusual bleeding;
  • purple or red discoloration of your skin;
  • skin rash, skin pain or swelling;
  • pink or dark urine, foamy urine, little or no urination;
  • shortness of breath, or if you cough up blood; or
  • new or worsening symptoms of lupus--joint pain, and a skin rash on your cheeks or arms that worsens in sunlight.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • itching or tingling;
  • joint or muscle pain;
  • swollen glands;
  • headache, drowsiness, dizziness;
  • swelling in your hands or feet;
  • 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.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Propylthiouracil (Propylthiouracil Tablet)

SLIDESHOW

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms and Treatment See Slideshow
Propylthiouracil Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

Major adverse reactions (much less common than the minor adverse reactions) include inhibition of myelopoiesis (agranulocytosis, granulopenia, and thrombo-cytopenia), aplastic anemia, drug fever, a lupus-like syndrome including solenomegaly, hepatitis, periartentis, and hypoprothrombinemia and bleeding. Nephritis, glomerulonephritis, interstitial pneumonitis, exfoliative dermatitis, and erythema nodosum have been reported. Reports of a vasculitic syndrome associated with the presence of anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) have also been received. Manifestations of ANCA-positive vasculitis may include rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (crescentic and pauci-immune necrotizing glomerulonephritis) sometimes leading to acute renal failure; fever; pulmonary infiltrates or alveolar hemorrhage; skin ulcers; and leucocytoclastic vasculitis.

Minor adverse reactions include skin rash, urticaria, nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, arthralgia, paresthesias, loss of taste, abnormal Ioss of hair, myalgia, headache, pruritus, drowsiness, neuritis, edema, vertigo, skin pigmentation, jaundice, sialadenopathy, lymphadenopathy, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, and taste perversion.

It should be noted that about 10% of patients with untreated hyperthyroidism have leukopenia (white blood cell count of less than 4,000/mm³), often with relative granulopenia.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Propylthiouracil (Propylthiouracil Tablet)

Related Resources for Propylthiouracil

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Read the Propylthiouracil User Reviews »

© Propylthiouracil Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Propylthiouracil Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

QUESTION

Where is the thyroid gland located? See Answer

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