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Methimazole is a human drug, used for the medical management for hyperthyroidism. Methimazole inhibits the synthesis of thyroid hormones by interfering with metabolic steps involving iodine incorporation and the formation of iodothyronine. Methimazole has no effect on pre-existing circulating or stored thyroid hormones and it has no effect on supplemented thyroid hormones.
Methimazole currently is the drug of choice to treat feline hyperthyroidism. It has largely replaced propylthiouracil for this purpose due to the lower incidence of adverse side-effects. Treatment with methimazole is a form of medical management for hyperthyroidism; it does not cure the condition.
Cats being treated with methimazole should be monitored closely for the first three months. They should receive a CBC, platelet count, serum T4 every two to three weeks; liver function and ANA testing may be performed as needed.
Endogenous circulating T4 levels should be reduced in one to three weeks. After the animal is stabilized on the medication, T4 levels should be followed every three to six months.
No reported drug-interactions in the cat were found in the literature. In humans, methimazole is reported to potentiate the activity of some anti-coagulants.
Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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