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Last reviewed on RxList: 6/8/2017
Propylthiouracil Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 02/07/2017

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.

Propylthiouracil Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking propylthiouracil and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, sore throat, headache, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), unusual weakness;
  • dry cough, trouble breathing; or
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Propylthiouracil may also cause severe liver symptoms. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms:

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

Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, vomiting;
  • dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • mild skin rash or itching;
  • mild joint or muscle pain;
  • 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)

Propylthiouracil Professional Information


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)

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© 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.

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