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  • Anonymous
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      Hi, Beth:

      All drugs that enter our bodies are either metabolized (chemically altered) or excreted intact from the body. The liver is the main organ (but not the only one) involved in drug metabolism. The chemicals that RESULT from metabolism (called metabolites) can be inert (and then excreted from the body), therapeutic, or toxic (causing negative side effects). If toxic metabolites are created in the process, sometimes the liver itself is adversely affected.

      If you read through the side effect information on both PTU and methimazole, the antithyroid drugs, there is a rare side effect listed with instructions to IMMEDIATELY contact your doctor — and this is “yellow eyes or skin”. This can be an indication of a liver problem due to the drug. I think it is called drug- induced hepatitis, and a number of drugs, including alcohol, can cause this problem. If a drug is suspected of causing it, stopping the drug is essential. Sometimes the damage is only temporary, if the drug is stopped. Other times, chronic hepatitis can ensue.

      This happens rarely with the antithyroid drugs, but it can happen. And if you have already had some liver disease, please make sure your doctor KNOWS. It can increase the potential problems for you, that might result from taking these drugs.


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