Thyroid gland resembles a butterfly, present on the front side of your neck. Its key task is to make a hormone called thyroid. This hormone plays an important role in stabilizing your metabolic rate as well as to regulate cell-level availability of energy. At times, this gland may make an increased level of thyroid and in some instances it may make thyroid at suboptimal levels. An overproduction of thyroid leads to a medical condition called hyperthyroidism. Drugs such as methimazole are prescribed to reduce the level of hormone production. What precautions are needed while taking this anti-thyroid drug? It is a wise thing to know more on this.

Hyperthyroidism can make your very tired, alter your appetite level and may also cause mental conditions like depression, restlessness or anxieties. Also, those with hyperthyroidism are more likely to experience tremors, sleeplessness, irregular periods, etc. In some people, an inflammation of the gland is observed; this condition is termed as goiter. Hyperthyroidism is triggered by various risk factors. Women are more vulnerable to this condition. Treatment plan depends on a host of factors depending on gender, age, bodyweight and the extent to which your thyroid gland is overactive.

This condition is treated by administering radioactive iodine, beta blocking meds, anti-thyroid meds, etc. Your caregiver may recommend a surgical option in some cases. However, surgical interventions are advised when drugs yield limited outcomes. In this milieu, methimazole is widely used. It belongs to a genre known as anti-thyroid drugs. It works by controlling the thyroid gland and helps reduce the levels of this hormone. The typical medication plan spans 15 to 18 months; in some cases, it may last longer than this timeline.

Precautions associated with the intake of methimazole

It is essential to know that this drug is not an over the counter med. Hence, you are advised to take it as per the guidance of your treating physician. As a safety precaution, tell your caregiver about all the other drugs you are currently taking. Also, inform your treating physician about treatment plans pursued presently, if any. Your caregiving team may advise you to make a list of all the meds currently taken; while making this list, include over the counter drugs, prescription meds, herbal supplements, dietary aids, etc.

It is unsafe to take alcoholic drinks while consuming methimazole. Your liver may witness severe levels of stress when you mix intoxicants with this anti-thyroid med. Those who take cold and cough drugs need to be aware that such meds may have alcohol. It is recommended to consult with your treating doctor on taking cough and cold meds. It is equally unsafe to smoke tobacco-based products during your treatment plan.

Other precautions needed while consuming this anti-thyroid drug

It is vital to share details about your clinical history with your caregiving team. If you have had ailments such as cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis i.e., inflammation of liver, etc., swelling of pancreas and a few blood related ailments, you need to keep your doctor aware of such conditions. Those who are opting for a surgical or dental intervention must tell their surgical teams about your intake of anti-thyroid meds like methimazole. It is quite likely that your surgeon / dentist may tell you to stop taking this drug for a few days prior to the surgery.

This med is regarded as unsafe for women who are pregnant; especially during the first trimester. This med is administered only when the benefits accrued exceed the risks involved. Also, women who are planning to become pregnant must tell their caregiving team; it is a safe to use contraceptives when you are taking this med to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Women who are nursing their infant or breastfeeding must keep away from this drug. This is mainly because the key ingredients of this med can get into mother’s milk. Babies who feed on such milk may develop withdrawal signs such as sleeping problems, feeding difficulties, crying incessantly, etc. Above all – as an overarching safety measure, talk to your doctor about your lifestyle and other medical conditions prior to starting your treatment plan for hyperthyroidism.

Safe dosage level of methimazole

It is a good practice to follow the instructions of your treating doctor while using methimazole. Doses for adults are maintained at 15 milligrams (mg) within each 24-hour timeline. Children – at times – are prescribed with methimazole; for children, the standard dose is 0.2 mg for each kilogram of body weight. Take needful care to distribute each day’s doses into 3 equally distributed parts. Also, it is not a healthy practice to alter the strength of doses without the consent of your treating doctor.

In some stray instances, some users have boosted the strength of their doses without telling their physician. Such practices may lead to an overdosed condition. The distinctive signs of an overdose of methimazole are acute spells of tremors, loss of coordination, passing out / fainting or respiratory disorders such as panting for breath, gasping and wheezing. In such cases, you are advised to reach your caregiver on an emergency basis and seek needful medical support. Those living in the US can call 911 or call the helpdesk of FDA without much delay. Canadian residents need to establish contact with Health Canada or call a poison control centre on an urgent mode.

How to store methimazole?

This drug needs to be stored at room temperature. It also needs to be kept away from moisture and a direct exposure to sunlight. Owing to the former reason, it is not a safe practice to store it in your bathroom. Moisture content in your bathroom is likely to interact with methimazole and may decrease its efficacy levels. Care to store it at a place which is not within reach of children as well as pets.

In sum, methimazole is widely used. It belongs to a genre known as anti-thyroid drugs. It works by controlling the thyroid gland and helps reduce the levels of this hormone. As a safety precaution, never take alcohol along with this anti-thyroid drug. Also, tell your doctor about the drugs you are taking. Those who are taking drugs such as digoxin and / or blood thinning meds such as warfarin must keep away from methimazole. You are advised to consult with a qualified medical practitioner to know about all needful precautions before starting to take methimazole.

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