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Thyroid Diseases

Stopping PTU (Propylthouracil) For Treatment of Hyperparathyroidism

08/14/2006

Question:

What happens when I run out of medicaiton, have no insurance, and my doctor won`t see a cash patient?  I have been taking this for 5 years and as of today, have none to take.  I was told I have Graves Disease.  So now what will happen.  Will my body readjust to not taking the PTU?

Answer:

Being off the PTU will most likely allow your body to return to being hyperthyroid just like you were before you started the PTU. This could make you feel bad again, and could put you at risk for abnormal heart rhythms and osteoporosis.

You might consider paying out of pocket for a radioactive iodine treatment. You would need to take a thyroid hormone pill for the rest of your life, but the thyroid hormone pill is cheaper than the PTU. There is are patient assistance programs that might be able to help you out with it, and (once you were on a stable dose) you probably would need to see the doctor and get blood tests less often than with the PTU.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) publishes the Directory of Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs, which lists programs, the companies that offer them, the medicines available, basic eligibility requirements and contact persons.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University