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PTU Side Effects

Although most people do not experience side effects with PTU, the drug does carry a risk of serious liver damage. As a result, another hyperthyroid medication is often used instead. If you are prescribed PTU, you may experience vomiting, headache, or drowsiness; however, such problems are generally mild and easily treated. If you experience anything that "just does not seem right," contact your healthcare provider.

An Introduction to PTU Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with PTU (propylthiouracil). Although not everyone who takes the medication will experience problems, serious reactions can occur. In fact, PTU is rarely used anymore, since other treatments are less likely to cause dangerous side effects.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible PTU side effects. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Side Effects of PTU to Report

Some PTU side effects are potentially serious -- even life-threatening -- and should be reported to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of low white blood cells, such as:
  • Signs of anemia, such as pale skin and fatigue
  • Signs of low blood platelets, such as easy bruising or bleeding
  • Signs of inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis), such as:
    • Weight loss
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle and joint aches
    • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Skin ulcers
    • Fever
  • Signs of kidney inflammation (nephritis), such as water retention and decreased urination
  • Signs of liver damage, such as:
    • Yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice)
    • Upper-right abdominal pain
    • Loss of appetite
    • Itching
    • High liver enzymes (found using a blood test)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including:
    • Unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Healthy Eating for People With Diabetes

PTU Drug Information

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