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Adverse events associated with methimazole therapy of graves' disease in children.

Objective. Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the pediatric population. Antithyroid medications used in children and adults include propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole (MMI). At our center we have routinely used MMI for Graves' disease therapy. Our goals are to provide insights into adverse events that can be associated with MMI use. Methods. We reviewed the adverse events associated with MMI use in our last one hundred consecutive pediatric patients treated with this medication. Results. The range in the patient age was 3.5 to 18 years. The patients were treated with an average daily dose of MMI of 0.3+/-0.2 mg/kg/day. Adverse events attributed to the use of the medication were seen in 19 patients at 17+/-7 weeks of therapy. The most common side effects included pruritus and hives, which were seen in 8 patients. Three patients developed diffuse arthralgia and joint pain. Two patients developed neutropenia. Three patients developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome, requiring hospitalization in 1 child. Cholestatic jaundice was observed in 1 patient. No specific risk-factors for the development of adverse events were identified. Conclusions. MMI use in children is associated with a low but real risk of minor and major side effects.

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