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Hyperthyroidism-Methimazole/Radioactive Iodine 131 Cheat Sheet by

Treats hyperthyroidism, Graves disease, and thyroid cancer.

Medication Names

Prototype Med
Radioa­ctive Iodine
Iodine 131
ACTION: The thyroid gland absorbs radioa­ctive iodine, which gradually destroys thyroid tissues and the function of the thyroid gland.

Therap­eutic Use

Hypert­hyr­oidism (Graves’ disease)
Thyroid cancer

Adverse Drug Reactions

Hypoth­yro­idism (expected for most clients, but still requires drug thera- py)
Bone marrow depression (rare)
Radiation sickness (rare)

Nursing Interv­entions

Monitor thyroid function.
Monitor for indica­tions of thyroid dysfun­ction (drows­iness, depres­sion, weight gain, edema, bradyc­ardia, anorexia, cold intole­rance, dry skin, menorr­hagia).
Monitor CBC and platelet count at baseline and period­ically therea­fter.
Monitor for indica­tions of anemia, leukop­enia, and thromb­ocy­top­enia.
Monitor for manife­sta­tions of radiation sickness (hemat­emesis, epistax- is, intense nausea, vomiting).

Drug Admini­str­ation

Give orally.
Obtain a negative pregnancy test before admini­str­ation.
Measure baseline vital signs and weight and monitor period­ically there- after.
Dosage is miniscule for thyroid disorders, larger for thyroid cancers
Initiate radiation precau­tions for large doses (limited contact, increased fluids, body waste disposal per facility protocol).

Patient Education

Watch for and report anxiety, drowsi­ness, depres­sion, weight gain, swelling, slow heart rate, appetite loss, cold intole­rance, dry skin.
Report fever, sore throat, weakness, or fatigue.
Report bloody vomit, nosebl­eeds, or severe nausea and vomiting.


Pregnancy: terato­genic effects


Children prior to puberty


Other antith­yroid drugs reduce uptake.


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