The thyroid gland requires a small amount of iodine to function properly, but too much iodine will cause it to stop releasing excess hormones. Iodine treatment is therefore an option, but is only appropriate for short-term use or to bring hyperthyroidism under control quickly (for instance, to bring thyroid storm under control).
Low levels of radioactive iodine can be used to destroy some of the thyroid gland, enough to bring hyperthyroidism under control. However, if too much of the thyroid is destroyed, the result is hypothyroidism. If this occurs, it is likely that you will need to take a thyroid hormone replacement regularly in order to treat the hypothyroidism.
Radioactive iodine is used at low enough levels so that no damage is caused to the rest of the body. It isn't given to pregnant women, as the radioactive iodine can destroy the fetus's thyroid gland.
Oral medication (propylthiouracil or methimazole) can usually bring hyperthyroidism under control within 6 weeks to 3 months. Larger doses will work more quickly, but may increase the risk of side effects such as skin rashes, nausea, loss of taste, and very rarely, suppression of blood cell production in the bone marrow and liver injury. These side effects usually go away when you stop taking medication.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as shakiness, increased heart rate, anxiety, and nervousness can be controlled by beta-blocker medications such as propranolol. However, these medications do not directly affect thyroid function.
Surgical removal of the thyroid (called thyroidectomy) may be necessary in rare cases. This usually leads to hypothyroidism, which must then be treated with thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of a person's life.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Hyperthyroidism