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Medication for Hyperthyroidism

There are two main types of hyperthyroidism medication: antithyroid medicines and beta blockers. Methimazole (Tapazole®) and propylthiouracil (PTU) are two of the most common drugs used to treat this condition. Methimazole is often preferred because it is taken once a day versus three times a day for propylthiouracil. With antithyroid medications, the average treatment time is about one to two years, and about 30 percent of people have their symptoms completely disappear following treatment.
Beta blocker medicines, such as atenolol (Tenormin®), help to decrease hyperthyroid symptoms until other treatments take effect. Most people feel better within hours of taking these medications. Beta blockers act by blocking the effects of thyroid hormone on the body, but they do not stop thyroid hormone production. Once a person's hyperthyroidism is under control, beta blockers are stopped.
(To learn more about these medications, click Hyperthyroidism Treatment. This article also features information about other treatments for this condition, such as surgery and radioactive iodine.)
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