Current and emerging treatment options for Graves’ hyperthyroidism
Prakash Abraham, Shamasunder Acharya
Treatment of thyrotoxicosis
Andrei Iagaru and I. Ross McDougall
Radioiodine may be given using fixed high doses or by calculated doses following uptake studies. The risks of radioiodine including eye disease and the role of prophylactic steroid therapy are discussed. The commonly used antithyroid drugs include carbimazole, methimazole and propylthiouracil; however a number of other agents have been tried in special situations or in combination with these drugs. The antithyroid drugs may be given in high (using additional levothyroxine in a block–replace regimen) or low doses (in a titration regimen).
This review examines the current evidence and relative benefits for these options as well as looking at emerging therapies including immunomodulatory treatments such as rituximab which have come into early clinical trials. The use of antithyroid therapies in special situations is also discussed as well as clinical practice issues which may influence the choices.