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Why is this medication prescribed?

Methimazole is a medication prescribed primarily for the treatment of an overactive thyroid gland, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones, which regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism. Methimazole helps manage hyperthyroidism by reducing the production of thyroid hormones, thereby bringing thyroid hormone levels back to normal.

How should this medicine be used?

Here’s how Methimazole is typically used:

  • Dosage: The specific dosage of Methimazole will depend on the individual’s condition, thyroid hormone levels, and the recommendations of a healthcare provider. It is available in tablet form, usually taken orally.
  • Frequency: It is typically taken once or twice a day, as directed by your healthcare provider. You should follow the prescribed dosing schedule carefully.
  • Timing: Methimazole can be taken with or without food. However, it’s important to be consistent with the timing of your doses. Taking it at the same time each day can help you remember to take your medication consistently.
  • Duration: Treatment with Methimazole can be long-term, often lasting several months or even years. The duration of treatment will be determined by your healthcare provider based on your response to the medication and the underlying cause of your hyperthyroidism.
  • Monitoring: While taking Methimazole, your healthcare provider will likely monitor your thyroid hormone levels regularly through blood tests. Adjustments to the dosage may be made based on these results.
  • Follow-up: It’s crucial to attend all follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to assess your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
  • Adherence: To get the best results from Methimazole, it’s important to take the medication as prescribed, even if you start feeling better. Stopping the medication abruptly or missing doses can lead to a recurrence of hyperthyroidism.
  • Side effects: Methimazole may have side effects, which can include nausea, vomiting, skin rash, and changes in taste. If you experience severe side effects, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while on Methimazole, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider, as the medication may pose risks to the developing fetus. Similarly, if you are breastfeeding, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider regarding the use of Methimazole.

It’s crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions closely when using Methimazole, as it is a potent medication that affects thyroid function. Do not change the dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your healthcare provider, as this can lead to complications with your thyroid function.

Other uses for this medicine

Methimazole is primarily used to treat hyperthyroidism, but it may also have off-label uses in certain cases or for specific medical conditions. However, these uses are less common and should only be considered under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Some potential off-label uses include:

  • Thyroid storm: A severe and life-threatening complication of hyperthyroidism.
  • Preparation for thyroid surgery or radioactive iodine treatment: Methimazole may be used to stabilize thyroid hormone levels before these procedures.
  • Graves’ ophthalmopathy: In some cases, it may help manage the eye symptoms associated with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition often linked to hyperthyroidism.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions to consider when taking Methimazole:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any allergies to Methimazole or related medications. It’s essential to discuss any allergic reactions you’ve had in the past.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Methimazole should be used with caution during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while on Methimazole, discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider. It may also pass into breast milk, so consult your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding.
  • Blood Monitoring: Regular blood tests are necessary to monitor thyroid hormone levels and liver function while on Methimazole. Follow your healthcare provider’s recommended testing schedule.
  • Side Effects: Be aware of potential side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, skin rash, and changes in taste. If you experience any severe or unusual side effects, contact your healthcare provider promptly.
  • Drug Interactions: Methimazole may interact with other medications. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to ensure there are no potential interactions.
  • Compliance: It’s crucial to take Methimazole exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not stop the medication or change the dosage without consulting them, as this can affect your thyroid function.
  • Inform Your Healthcare Provider: Keep your healthcare provider informed about any changes in your health, including new symptoms, illnesses, or changes in your overall condition.
  • Surgery and Dental Procedures: If you are scheduled for surgery or dental procedures, inform your healthcare provider that you are taking Methimazole. They may provide specific guidance on whether to continue or temporarily stop the medication.

Remember that the information provided here is for general guidance, and individual circumstances may vary. Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and consult with them regarding any specific concerns or questions you may have about taking Methimazole.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special dietary instructions are generally not necessary when taking Methimazole. However, it’s a good idea to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, as hyperthyroidism itself can affect your metabolism and nutritional needs. Your healthcare provider may recommend dietary changes or supplements based on your specific health needs, but these recommendations are not directly related to Methimazole.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Methimazole:

  • Take It as Soon as You Remember: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s close to the time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Don’t Double Up: Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. Taking more Methimazole than prescribed can lead to adverse effects or complications.
  • Maintain Consistency: Try to establish a routine for taking your medication to minimize the chances of forgetting a dose. This can include setting alarms or reminders.
  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you frequently forget to take your medication or have concerns about missed doses, discuss it with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on managing your medication effectively.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Methimazole, like any medication, can cause side effects. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary from person to person. Common side effects of Methimazole include:

  • Nausea: Some individuals may experience nausea when taking Methimazole. Taking the medication with food or splitting the daily dose into smaller, more frequent doses can help alleviate this side effect.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting is less common than nausea but can occur as a side effect of Methimazole.
  • Skin Rash: Methimazole may cause skin rashes, itching, or hives in some people. If you experience any skin reactions, notify your healthcare provider.
  • Joint Pain or Muscle Pain: Joint pain or muscle pain can occur as a side effect of Methimazole. If this happens, inform your healthcare provider.
  • Taste Changes: Methimazole can cause alterations in taste perception, including a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth.
  • Hair Loss: Some individuals may experience hair loss while taking Methimazole. This side effect is usually temporary and reversible when the medication is discontinued.
  • Low White Blood Cell Count: In rare cases, Methimazole can affect blood cell counts, particularly white blood cells, which are important for the body’s immune system. If you notice signs of infection, such as fever or sore throat, or experience unexplained bruising or bleeding, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Liver Problems: Methimazole can rarely lead to liver problems, which may manifest as yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain, or dark urine. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.
  • Agranulocytosis: Although very rare, Methimazole can cause a serious condition called agranulocytosis, which is a severe drop in white blood cell count. This condition can be life-threatening and may cause symptoms like fever, sore throat, and mouth sores. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Other Side Effects: Some people may experience less common side effects, such as headache, dizziness, upset stomach, or changes in appetite.

It’s important to note that the majority of individuals taking Methimazole experience only mild side effects, and the benefits of the medication often outweigh the risks, especially when it effectively manages hyperthyroidism. However, it’s crucial to discuss any side effects or concerns with your healthcare provider, as they can provide guidance on managing side effects and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. If you experience severe or unusual side effects, contact your healthcare provider promptly.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Store Methimazole in its original container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Avoid exposure to excessive humidity.
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not use Methimazole past its expiration date, and if you have any unused or expired medication, follow proper disposal guidelines.


  • Do not dispose of Methimazole by flushing it down the toilet or pouring it down the drain unless specifically instructed to do so by your healthcare provider or a reputable disposal program.
  • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about proper disposal options for Methimazole. Many communities have drug take-back programs or facilities where you can safely dispose of unused or expired medications.
  • If no disposal instructions are provided, mix Methimazole with an undesirable substance (e.g., coffee grounds or kitty litter) inside a sealed plastic bag or container before disposing of it in your household trash. This helps make the medication less appealing to children or animals.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of an overdose or if you suspect you or someone else has taken too much Methimazole, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center (1-800-222-1222 in the United States). Signs of an overdose may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

What other information should I know?

  • Inform all healthcare providers you see that you are taking Methimazole, as it can interact with other medications and may affect the management of other medical conditions.
  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring of your thyroid function and medication adjustments as needed.
  • Continue taking Methimazole as prescribed, even if you start feeling better. Stopping the medication abruptly can lead to a recurrence of hyperthyroidism.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol while taking Methimazole, as it may interact with the medication and affect liver function.
  • Notify your healthcare provider if you experience any unusual or severe side effects while taking Methimazole.
  • If you plan to become pregnant or are already pregnant while taking Methimazole, discuss this with your healthcare provider, as there may be risks to the developing fetus.
  • Methimazole may affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness while taking it, use caution when engaging in activities that require mental alertness.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and recommendations regarding Methimazole, and don’t hesitate to reach out to them with any questions or concerns you may have about the medication.

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