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The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped tissue gland that sits near the middle of the throat. It is responsible for producing certain hormones that regulate body metabolism. For example, an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) can lead to weight loss, a rapid heartbeat, sweating and muscle weakness, the Mayo Clinic says. An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can cause fatigue, constipation, brittle hair and depression. Thyroid medications treat these conditions.
Methimazole's common side effects include:
- a headache
- stomach problems
- muscle or joint pain
- hair loss
- itching 1
Methimazole's serious effects include weakness, easy bleeding or bruising, and bloody urine or stools 1. Methimazole can also increase the chances for bleeding, so it is important to tell physicians about medications taken before any surgical procedures 1. This drug can also lower the white blood cells that fight infection in the body.
MedlinePlus says propylthiouracil's typical side effects include:
- hair loss
- stomach pain
- joint or muscle pain
- loss of taste
- a skin rash
- headaches 23
Propylthiouracil's serious side effects include chills, abnormal bleeding or bruising, yellowing of the skin, a sore throat and a fever 2.
According to MedlinePlus, levothyroxine's less serious side effects include:
- weight loss
- stomach cramps
- menstrual irregularities 3
Levothyroxine can also cause trouble sleeping, excessive sweating, an increased appetite, hair loss and menstrual irregularities 3. The medication's serious effects include chest pain and an irregular pulse or heartbeat.
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