Hyperthyroidism: Should I Use Antithyroid Medicine or Radioactive Iodine? | oneGRAVESvoice

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Patient Education

Hyperthyroidism: Should I Use Antithyroid Medicine or Radioactive Iodine?

key information

source: Kaiser Permanente


You may want to have a say in this decision, or you may simply want to follow your doctor’s recommendation. Either way, this information will help you understand what your choices are so that you can talk to your doctor about them.

Your Options

• Take radioactive iodine. It destroys part or all of the thyroid gland.
• Take antithyroid medicine. It lowers the amount of thyroid hormone in your body.

Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. If your hyperthyroidism is not caused by Graves’ disease, this information may not apply to you.

Key Points to Remember

• Most people will be cured of hyperthyroidism after one dose of radioactive iodine. The radioactivity in the iodine kills most or all of your thyroid gland. This usually leads to hypothyroidism, which means that your body makes too little thyroid hormone. When you have hypothyroidism, you need to take thyroid hormone medicine for the rest of your life.
• You can use radioactive iodine after you have been treated with antithyroid medicine.


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