Antithyroid Drug Therapy for Graves’ Disease and Implications for Recurrence

Graves’ disease (GD) is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism worldwide. Current therapeutic options for GD include antithyroid drugs (ATD), radioactive iodine, and thyroidectomy. ATD treatment is generally well accepted by patients and clinicians due to some advantages including normalising thyroid function in a short time, hardly causing hypothyroidism, and ameliorating immune disorder while avoiding radiation exposure and invasive procedures. However, the relatively high recurrence rate is a major concern for ATD treatment, which is associated with multiple influencing factors like clinical characteristics, treatment strategies, and genetic and environmental factors. Of these influencing factors, some are modifiable but some are nonmodifiable. The recurrence risk can be reduced by adjusting the modifiable factors as much as possible. The titration regimen for 12–18 months is the optimal strategy of ATD. Levothyroxine administration after successful ATD treatment was not recommended. The addition of immunosuppressive drugs might be helpful to decrease the recurrence rate of GD patients after ATD withdrawal, whereas further studies are needed to address the safety and efficacy.