Long-term methimazole therapy in Graves' hyperthyroidism and adverse reactions: a Danish multicenter study

J Karmisholt*, S L Andersen, I Bulow-Pedersen, A Krejbjerg, B Nygaard, A Carlé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: In this prospective multicenter study with patients newly diagnosed with Graves' hyperthyroidism (GH), we studied the timing and characteristics of adverse drug reactions in patients treated with anti-thyroid drugs (ATD) for up to 48 months.

Methods: Patients with GH were treated with ATD until remission and hereafter with a low-dose regime to keep the patients in remission. The patients were followed with blood samples and recording of adverse events approximately every second month for the first 2 years and every third month for the following 2 years.

Results: We included 208 patients and the patients were treated for a median of 22 (range: 0.5-49) months. Ten percent of the patients experienced adverse drug reactions and 75% of the cases occurred during the first 6 months. After 24 months, the methimazole dose was lowered to 5 mg/day, and after this time point, no further adverse drug reactions were recorded. Skin reactions were the most prominent reaction, comprising 68% of the registered reactions, and no hepatic and bonemarrow affection was recorded.

Conclusion: With this study, we report the frequency, timing of occurrence, and characteristics of adverse drug reactions when treating GH with the ATD drug methimazole for up to 48 months. Long-term low-dose methimazole treatment can be a cost-effective and straightforward treatment option if adverse drug reactions such as severe hepatic and bone marrow affection are kept in mind.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere220031
JournalEuropean Thyroid Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Graves’ disease
  • Graves’ hyperthyroidism
  • TSH-receptor anti-bodies
  • anti-thyroid drugs adverse drug
  • hyperthyroidism
  • reactions adverse events
  • thyrotoxicosis


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