PTU, which stands for Propylthiouracil is a drug that often helps with treating individuals who suffer with hyperthyroidism as well as Graves disease. This drug is designed to assist with decreasing thyroid hormones that are located in the thyroid gland.
This drug was discovered in 1947 and thousands of individuals have taken it all across the country. However, on June 3, 2009 there were warnings from medical professionals that stated the dangerous side effects of this particular drug.
Why Individuals Are Prescribed Propylthiouracil
This drug can also be a great treatment option for some individuals despite the dangerous side effects and deaths that have been linked with this drug. This drug has been seen to help those with Graves’ disease and for individuals that have allergic reactions to some of the alternative medications. It’s additionally been seen to help with hyperthyroidism as well when preparing to have a surgical procedure.
The FDA has warned all medical professionals who place their patients on this drug to keep a close eye on them. This is especially essential for the initial 6 months or so of taking this medication.
There have been 32 different cases of liver failure from individuals who have taken this drug. Here are some of the facts that have been found:
- 32 cases of PTU liver failure
- 22 cases affected adults
- 10 cases included pediatric injuries
- From all 22 cases, there were 12 deaths as well as 5 cases of liver transplants
- From the 10 reported pediatric cases there was 1 death and another 6 needed liver transplants
Side Effects Associated with PTU
Among these liver failure cases, some of the side effects that come with taking this drug:
- White blood cells and red blood cell counts decreased which leads to infection as well as anemia
- Severe bleeding
- Decreased immune system effectiveness
More of the less severe side effects include:
- Itching Rashes Hair loss
- Pain and aches in the joints
- Vomiting and nausea
- Decrease in appetite
- Dark urine or darker stools
- Pain in the stomach
- Severe headaches
If you have been prescribed this drug, you should first talk to your doctor about what the interactions with this drug can lead to. For example, this drug has been proven to have an effect on blood thinners including Coumadin. If you currently are taking this you will need to have your dosage altered and you will be monitored.
For those who are currently taking this drug, keep an eye on yourself and if you begin to notice any of the listed side effects, you should contact your doctor right away. Your doctor will only put you on this drug if you are not going to need to take other prescriptions before having a surgery. Pregnant women should not take this drug after their first trimester of pregnancy to help eliminate birth defects in unborn children.
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