NCLEX Review: Thyroid and Antithyroid Drugs

NCLEX Thyroid & Antithyroid Drugs Infographic

Infographic explaining Thyroid and Antithyroid Drugs

Thyroid & Antithyroid Drugs

Thyroid hormones are required for normal growth and development and are considered especially critical for brain and skeletal development and maturation.


Thyroid drugs provide an exogenous source of thyroid hormone, given for…

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cretinism (childhood congenital form)
  • Myxedema (severe adult form)


Thyroid drug of choice – Levothyroxine

  • synthetic preparation of T4
  • must be taken for life


Antithyroid drugs decrease production or release of thyroid hormones – given for hyperthyroidism associated with…

  • Graves’ disease
  • Nodular goiter
  • Thyroiditis
  • Overtreatment with thyroid drugs
  • Thyroid carcinoma
  • Pituitary adenoma that secretes excessive amounts of TSH
  • Thyroid storm


Antithyroid drugs

  • Thioamide derivatives – given to produce a euthyroid state – may be used as the primary treatment or to decrease blood levels of thyroid hormone before radioactive iodine therapy or surgery.
    • Propylthiouracil (PTU)
    • Methimazole
  • Iodine preparations – given to reduce the size & vascularity of the thyroid gland
    • Lugol’s solution
    • SSKI (potassium iodide)
  • Radioactive iodine (I-131)
    • Given in a single dose to destroy overactive thyroid tissue or to shrink a goiter
    • Large doses are used to destroy thyroid cancer cells


Goal of treatment with thyroid & antithyroid drugs – restore the patient to a euthyroid state with normal metabolism.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: January 12, 2021