Advertisement

How do medications treat toxic goiter?

Dr. Jack Merendino, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
A “toxic goiter” means thyroid enlargement that results in hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream). Medications do two things in the case of a toxic goiter. Beta blockers such as propranolol will lessen the rapid heartbeat and tremor of hyperthyroidism. Beta blockers only treat the symptoms of a toxic goiter. Anti-thyroid medication such as methimazole or propylthiouracil (PTU) will actually reduce thyroid hormone levels. At one time it was thought that these medications could only be taken for a year at most, but we now know that these medications can safely be taken for many years if the individual is carefully monitored, especially if the dose required is low.  
Medication can be used to regulate an imbalance in your thyroid hormones. If your thyroid is severely overactive, you may need medication to reduce thyroid hormone levels. Radioactive iodine is another kind of medication doctors use to treat diffuse goiter. The iodine kills excess thyroid cells, however sometimes after using this medication people become dependent on other thyroid medication to produce the right amount of thyroid hormone.

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

When Hormone Replacement Therapy May Be Good
When Hormone Replacement Therapy May Be Good
Fear-mongering about hormone replacement therapy isn’t good science. For the right woman with nasty menopausal symptoms and the right man with low tes...
Read More
What is the role of the endocrine system?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
The endocrine system is the second of the three mind/brain-body communication systems. It is a major...
More Answers
What role might hormones play in depression and anxiety?
Dr. Michael J. Mufson, MDDr. Michael J. Mufson, MD
Some studies have found that people with anxiety disorders have increased levels of excess corticotr...
More Answers
What Nutrients Are Important for a Healthy Thyroid?
What Nutrients Are Important for a Healthy Thyroid?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.