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Methimazole and Serum Thyroid Hormone Concentrations in Hyperthyroid Patients: Effects of Single and Multiple Daily Doses

Elio Roti, MD; Eliana Gardini, MD; Roberta Minelli, MD; Mario Salvi, MD; Giuseppe Robuschi, MD; and Lewis E. Braverman, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Lewis E. Braverman, MD, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655.

Grant Support: Supported in part by grant 85.00533.04 and 86.00134.04 from Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche; NATO grant 85/0696, and a grant from Ministero Pubblica Istruzione, Rome, Italy; and grant DK 18918, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Roti, Gardini, Minelli, Salvi, and Robuschi: Centro per lo Studio, Prevenzione, Diagnosi e Cura delle Tireopatie, Cattedra di Endocrinologia e Patologia Constituzionale, Universita degli Studi di Parma, Parma, Italy.

Dr. Braverman: University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655.

Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(2):181-182. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-111-2-181
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Thionamide drugs are traditionally administered in divided doses, a treatment schedule recommended in many textbooks of endocrinology and thyroidology. The reason for administering antithyroid drugs in divided doses is that they have a relatively short half-life in serum (1). More recent studies, however, have shown that the antithyroid effect of the thionamides is related to their half-life in the thyroid gland rather than in the serum. It has been reported that methimazole (Tapazole, Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, Indiana) administered to hyperthyroid patients has a half-life in serum of 6.8 hours (2), stays in the thyroid for 20 hours (3),


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