Keith Forwith

Innovative Thyroid Surgeon

When Can I Stop Drug Therapy For Graves’ Disease?

Since Graves’ disease will spontaneously resolve in about 30% of patients, it is important to monitor to determine when stopping antithyroid drugs would be safe. One of the best ways of following this is measurement of the TRAb antibody levels. The American Thyroid Association suggests that these labs be checked prior to the cessation of antithyroid drugs. When TRAb remains elevated despite treatment, relapse rates approach 80-100%. In these patients, it is not wise to discontinue the thyroid medications as hyperthyroidism will certainly recur. When TRAb levels are lower, relapse rates typically are in the 20-30% range so this makes stopping the medication much safer. Patients should be trialed for 12-18 months on antidrug therapy and if a patient becomes hyperthyroid after completing a course of methimazole, consideration should be given to definitive therapy. Options for definitive therapy include radioactive iodine and thyroidectomy. Read this to discover which may be the safest and best option for you.