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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Propylthiouracil (Oral)

Propylthiouracil (By Mouth)

Propylthiouracil (proe-pil-thye-oh-YOOR-a-sil)

Treats hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland). Also called: PTU

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to propylthiouracil or if you are breastfeeding.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much to use and how often. You should not use more of this medicine than your doctor ordered.
  • It is best to take propylthiouracil at the same time each day. If you take more than one tablet every day, try to take the medicine at evenly spaced intervals, such as every 12 hours if you take it two times a day, or every 8 hours if you take it three times a day.

If a dose is missed:

  • Use your medicine as soon you remember that you missed a dose.
  • If it is almost time for your next dose, use two doses together, then go back to your regular schedule.
  • If you miss more than one dose, check with your doctor.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the tablets at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using amiodarone (Cordarone®), potassium supplements, blood thinners (such as Coumadin®), or digoxin (Lanoxin®).
  • Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots). Also, other people living in your home should not get oral polio vaccine while you are using this medicine. There is a chance they could pass on the polio virus to you.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease before using propylthiouracil.
  • It may take several days or weeks for propylthiouracil to start working. Do not stop using the medicine without first asking your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Keep all your appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Changes in menstrual periods
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Dry, puffy skin
  • Mouth sores
  • Severe fever or chills, or fever that lasts longer than 2 days
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Swelling in your neck (thyroid)
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual weakness
  • Yellowing skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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