Treatment of post-partum thyrotoxicosis
Endocrine Research Center, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. Iran
Endocrine Research Center, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. Iran

Thyrotoxicosis occurs more frequently during the post-partum period than at other times in women of childbearing age. Graves' disease and post-partum thyroiditis are two major causes of thyrotoxicosis in this period. The major task lies in differentiation of these two diseases in the post-partum period; since throtoxicosis caused by post-partum thyroiditis usually does not require treatment. The radioiodine uptake is elevated or normal in Graves' disease and low in post-partum thyroiditis, and TSH-receptor antibodies are positive in Graves' and negative in post-partum thyroiditis. Post-partum thyrotoxicosis due to Graves' disease may be treated with radioiodine but it requires radiation safety measurements for infant and is contraindicated if the mother is breast-feeding. Antithyroid drugs are the mainstay of the treatment of post-partum thyrotoxicosis. Recent investigations conclude that neither propylthiouracil nor methimazole cause any alterations in thyroid function and physical and mental development of infants breast-fed by lactating thyrotoxic mothers, and both can be safely administered in moderately high doses during lactation. (J. Endocrinol. Invest. 29: 244-247, 2006) ©2006, Editrice Kurtis

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