b. Propylthiouracil (Propacil). Propylthiouracil is an antithyroid preparation
used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism and it is sometimes given to patients who are
to undergo thyroid surgery or radiotherapy. Side effects and precautions associated
with the use of this agent are the same as those discussed under methimazole
(Tapazole) (para 7-10a). You should know that some prescribers will occasionally
write PTU meaning propylthiouracil. Some patients go into remission after therapy with
Tapazole or Propacil.
Section IV. PARATHYROID PREPARATIONS
7-11. INTRODUCTION AND INDICATION FOR USE
The parathyroid glands secrete the hormone parathormone (Lesson 6, para 6-9).
This hormone regulates the amount of calcium in the intracellular fluid. The parathyroid
preparations are used in the treatment of hypoparathyroidism. Hypoparathyroidism can
occur spontaneously or with injury to the parathyroid glands. Hypoparathyroidism is
characterized by a decrease in the concentration of calcium in the serum and an
increase in the concentration of phosphorus in the serum. Overdosage of parathyroid
preparations can be potentially dangerous because serum levels of calcium can reach
very high levels. If the serum concentration of calcium reaches too high a level,
calcification of kidneys and blood vessels can occur.
7-12. PARATHYROID PREPARATIONS
a. Parathyroid Injection, USP. This product is obtained from the parathyroid
glands of freshly slaughtered domesticated animals like cattle. The preparation is used
in the treatment of hypoparathyroidism.
b. Dihydrotachysterol (Hytakerol). This product increases the level of
calcium in the serum by mobilizing calcium from bones and by increasing calcium
absorption from the intestines. Hence, it is used in the treatment of hypocalcemia.