Q & A EPISODE
How long can I safely take methimazole for?
Although I didn’t take antithyroid medication when I dealt with Graves disease, some people with hyperthyroidism need to take it. And while my goal is to help people restore their health so that they no longer need medication, not everyone with hyperthyroidism chooses to or can solely take a natural treatment approach.
Unfortunately, many endocrinologists tell hyperthyroidism patients that they can only take methimazole for 18 to 24 months. At that point, if they’re not in remission, they’ll push them to either get radioactive iodine or thyroid surgery.
In most cases, this is an entirely bogus timeline, and if someone is tolerating the medication well, there’s no reason they can’t take it longer.
Today I’m sharing what research studies show about long-term methimazole use so that you can arm yourself with data to show your endocrinologist if they’re pressuring you into radioactive iodine treatment or thyroid surgery.
During this episode, you’ll learn:
- What research shows about the rate of remission of Graves’ hyperthyroidism with long-term administration of low-dose methimazole
- When long-term methimazole treatment might be appropriate in pediatric Graves’ disease
- The difference in the chances of relapse between long-term and short-term courses of methimazole
- Why I always recommend addressing the root of the problem
- The potential for using low-dose methimazole as a lifelong therapeutic modality
As always, I hope you found this episode valuable, and I look forward to catching you in the next episode!
Mentioned in this episode
- Azizi F, Amouzegar A, Tohidi M, et al. Increased Remission Rates After Long-Term Methimazole Therapy in Patients with Graves’ Disease: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial. Thyroid. 2019;29(9):1192-1200.
- Bayramoğlu E, Elmaogulları S, Sagsak E, Aycan Z. Evaluation of long-term follow-up and methimazole therapy outcomes of pediatric Graves’ disease: a single-center experience. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2019;32(4):341-346.
- Azizi F, Takyar M, Madreseh E, Amouzegar A. Long-term Methimazole Therapy in Juvenile Graves’ Disease: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics. 2019;143(5):e20183034.
- Azizi F, Abdi H, Amouzegar A. Control of Graves’ hyperthyroidism with very long-term methimazole treatment: a clinical trial. BMC Endocr Disord. 2021;21(1):16. Published 2021 Jan 14.
- Azizi F, Malboosbaf R. Long-Term Antithyroid Drug Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Thyroid. 2017;27(10):1223-1231.
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