An excessive production of thyroid hormone leads to a condition called hyperthyroidism. This is also known as Grave’s disorder or disease. Optimal levels of thyroid are necessary for stabilizing your metabolic rate as well as to regulate how well your cells consume energy. In an overactive thyroid condition, your body is stressed out due to an altered rate of metabolism. Drugs such as methimazole are commonly used for reducing thyroid levels. But, can you stop this drug abruptly? It becomes essential to know more about this. Hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition. When your immunity system works against you and attacks your thyroid gland (with antibodies), your body starts making more amount of T3 and T4 hormones. This condition is known to show up mostly among women; those who have larger traces of T4 in bloodstream, swelling of the gland (known as thyroiditis) and intake of excessive amount of iodine are a few likely indicators. The signs are often quite distinctive. These include a sudden loss in body weight, erratic heartbeats, being tired and weary. It is also likely to show up as muscular weakness, tremors, sleep-related problems, etc. Methimazole is an anti-thyroid med that helps inhibit your thyroid gland from producing additional levels of hormone. This med is prescribed for a longer duration. Treatment plan often spans for more than 18 months. Though a few signs may cease to show up soon after starting the plan, a long term consumption of methimazole is commonly recommended. This med may cause a few adverse / unintended side effects. Most common side effects are abdominal discomforts like nausea, vomiting or indigestion. Among a few users, undesired reactions like rashes, itchiness or discoloration of skin may show up. The good news is, many of these adverse signs and symptoms may discontinue once your system gets used to the active ingredients of this anti-thyroid med. However, if one or more of these adverse reactions continue for a longer time, it is highly recommended to consult with your treating physician. Can I stop taking methimazole in an abrupt manner? Foremost of all, you must never stop taking this med without the consent of your treating physician. An abrupt discontinuation of this drug can lead to a few side effects and adverse reactions. This is mainly because once you come off the treatment plan, your body will not make needful amount of thyroid soon. So, the signs experienced after abruptly stopping methimazole may often resemble those of hyperthyroidism. Adverse side effects that you may witness include spells of tiredness, loss of hair, erratic menstrual periods, etc. In a few users, severe reactions such as chronic spells of constipation (or difficulties to pass stools), memory lapses, painful joints, etc. are observed. In general, you may experience a marked change in your appetite level, mood shifts including panic, depression or anxieties, enlargement of the thyroid gland (also known as goiter), abdominal problems such as nausea, diarrhea or upset of tummy, hypertension / high level of blood pressure, shaking / tremors, etc. Inform your treating doctor about these signs without delay. Needful measures are considered; these include, addition of T3 to your treatment plan, getting a lab panel done for testing thyroid levels, etc. This panel has tests such as TSH, reverse T3, free T3, free T4, level of antibodies, etc. As another measure, you are advised to enhance your lifestyle. For example, consume a balanced diet, work out regularly and lead a stress-free life. Safe dosage level of methimazole The recommended strength for adults is 15 milligrams (mg) within a 24-hour timeline. This med is administered onto children diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Their maintenance dose is 0.2 mg per

day for every kg of body weight. Your caregiver will evenly space out the doses; as 3 equal doses every day. It is not a good practice to alter the dosage strength without taking the consent of your caregiver. Your treating doctor will inform you to ensure that a minimal level of this med (i.e., active ingredients) need to remain in blood. Owing to this, if you have missed a dose, you are likely to see some discomforts. This is one of the reasons to take this drug in evenly distributed timeslots each day. Interactions between alcohol and this anti-thyroid med It is unsafe to take alcohol or any such intoxicants while you are consuming methimazole. As your liver function is likely to get affected, taking alcoholic drinks needs to be discontinued prior to the start of your treatment. Beware of a few cold and cough meds; these may have a sizable amount of alcohol in them. Intake of such drugs may also put added stress onto your liver. As smoking (first hand or second hand smoke) may cause a serious impact on your health, it is highly recommended to stop smoking while taking anti-thyroid meds such as methimazole. A few severe discomforts this anti-thyroid drug can trigger This anti-thyroid med is generally considered as safe and is unlikely to trigger severe or very adverse discomforts and side effects. However, in some one-off instances, users have witnessed pain in their joints, a marked slowdown of breathing cycles, initial signs of liver health conditions, etc. Some of the symptoms of liver impairment are discharge of dark colored urine, pain in abdomen, loss of appetite and discoloration of skin / eyes. In some users, blood related problems may also show up; these include a sudden decrease in the count of red cells, white cells and platelets. As white cells are essential to boost your immunity level, you may stand risks of being infected quite frequently. Hence, upon witnessing signs of infections such as soreness of throat, flu or runny nose, tell your caregiver as soon as you possibly can. In sum, methimazole is an anti-thyroid drug which must be consumed according to the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. In other words, it is not an over the counter drug. It helps control your thyroid gland from making more amount of thyroid. It is important not to stop taking this drug abruptly. An abrupt stop of methimazole can result in a few signs that are characteristic to hyperthyroidism. Side effects of an abrupt stop are extreme levels of tiredness, erratic menstrual cycles, constipation, memory related problems, changes in metabolic rates and painful joints. Talk to your treating physician to know more about how to discontinue your treatment plan.

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