Hyperthyroidism medications

00:00 / 00:00


Hyperthyroidism medications


0 / 14 complete

High Yield Notes

6 pages


Hyperthyroidism medications

of complete

External References

First Aid








Pregnancy p. 657

propylthiouracil in p. 362


agranulocytosis p. 251

aplastic anemia p. 251

thionamides p. 362

for thyroid storm p. 348


In hyperthyroidism, ‘hyper’ refers to having too much, and ‘thyroid’ refers to thyroid hormones, so hyperthyroidism refers to a condition where there’s excess thyroid hormones.

Medications used to treat hyperthyroidism either reduce the level of thyroid hormones or treat the symptoms by targeting the affected tissue.

There are 2 different thyroid hormones; triiodothyronine or T3, and thyroxine or T4.

Now, if we zoom into the thyroid gland, we’ll find thousands of follicles, which are small, hollow spheres whose walls are lined with follicular cells, or thyrocytes.

Zooming further into these follicular cells, we’ll see their apical side that surrounds a central lumen filled with a viscous fluid called the colloid.

The colloid contains the precursor hormone thyroglobulin.

The basolateral side of follicular cells is in contact with blood vessels that supply these cells.

Synthesis of thyroid hormones begins when follicular cells take in inorganic iodide ions from the blood, along with two sodium ions, via a sodium- iodide symporter.

This step is known as ‘iodide trap’.

The iodide ion is pumped via the pendrin protein, into the viscous fluid inside the follicle called the colloid, which contains thyroglobulin; the precursor of thyroid hormone.

In the colloid, inorganic iodide undergoes oxidation via the enzyme thyroid peroxidase or TPO, to become organic iodide, which then binds to the tyrosine in thyroglobulin.

This step is known as iodination.

Some tyrosine residues bind to only one iodine and form monoiodotyrosine or MIT, whereas others bind to two iodine atoms to form diiodotyrosine or DIT.

These molecules are then coupled together by the same enzyme thyroid peroxidase.

This process is known as coupling.

Coupling one MIT with one DIT creates T3, while coupling 2 DIT molecules creates T4.

T4 is generally created in greater amounts than T3, with T3 being the more active form with a half life of 1 to 2 days, while T4 is less active but has a longer half life of 6 to 8 days.

Once released from the thyroid gland, most of the T3 and T4 travels via the blood by binding with the thyroxine - binding globulin, or TBG, to reach the target cell.

Alternatively, small amounts of T3 and T4 stay unbound, and therefore they are referred to as “free” thyroid hormones.


Hyperthyroidism refers to a condition in which there is excess thyroid hormones. Medications used to treat hyperthyroidism aim at reducing the level of thyroid hormones or the management of associated symptoms. Hyperthyroidism medications include beta blockers, radioactive iodine, propylthiouracil, methimazole, Lugol's iodine, propranolol, and corticosteroids.


  1. "Katzung & Trevor's Pharmacology Examination and Board Review,12th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  2. "Rang and Dale's Pharmacology" Elsevier (2019)
  3. "Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2017)
  4. "Hyperthyroidism: Diagnosis and Treatment" Am Fam Physician (2016)
  5. "Subclinical Hyperthyroidism: When to Consider Treatment" Am Fam Physician (2017)
  6. "Hyperthyroidism" The Lancet (2016)
  8. "Increased cancer incidence after radioiodine treatment for hyperthyroidism" Cancer (2007)
  9. "Lugol’s solution and other iodide preparations: perspectives and research directions in Graves’ disease" Endocrine (2017)

Copyright © 2023 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.

Cookies are used by this site.

USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.