What is this medicine?
PROPYLTHIOURACIL (PTU) (proe pill thye oh YOOR a sill) lowers the amount of thyroid hormone made by the thyroid gland. It treats hyperthyroidism (where the thyroid gland makes too much hormone). It also is used before thyroid surgery or radioactive iodine treatment.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- liver disease
- low blood counts, like low white cell counts
- an unusual or allergic reaction to propylthiouracil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This drug is generally not recommended in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected rare conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
- certain medicines for high blood pressure, heart disease, or irregular heartbeat like metoprolol and propranolol
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. It may take time for your condition to improve. You will need tests to check your blood counts and to make sure your body is making the right amount of thyroid hormone.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat. Do not treat yourself.
Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
If you are going to need surgery or other procedure, tell your doctor that you are using this medicine.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue)
- breathing problems
- changes in vision
- joint pain
- low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells. You may be at increased risk for infection
- mouth sores
- numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- signs and symptoms of infection like fever or chills; sore throat
- signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- change in taste
- hair loss
- nausea, vomiting
- upset stomach
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Keep tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy