There is a frequently encountered subset of hypothyroid patients who are refractory to standard thyroid hormone replacement treatment and require unexpectedly high doses of levothyroxine. In addition to clinical situations where hypothyroid patients are non-compliant, or where there is the possibility of excipient-induced disease exacerbation (gluten/celiac disease), therapeutic failure may be due to impaired absorption of the administered drug. The common approach to managing patients with unusual thyroxine needs is to escalate the dose of levothyroxine until targeted TSH levels are achieved. This approach can increase the risk for prolonged exposure to supratherapeutic doses of levothyroxine, which increase the chances of adverse outcomes. Repeated adjustments of levothyroxine can also escalate the costs of treatment, as frequent office visits and laboratory tests are required to determine and maintain the desired dose. Clinicians should take a systematic approach to managing patients whom they suspect of having treatment-refractory hypothyroidism. This may include searching for, and adjusting, occult medical conditions and/or other factors that may affect the absorption of levothyroxine, before up-titrating the dose of traditional levothyroxine therapy. Depending on the underlying pathology, another approach that may be considered is to try alternative formulations of levothyroxine that are less susceptible to intolerance issues related to excipients, or, in some cases, to malabsorption. The early discovery of these factors via a thoughtful patient work-up may avoid unnecessary thyroid medication adjustments and their consequences for both patients and clinicians.

Diagnosis and management of treatment-refractory hypothyroidism: an expert consensus report

Benvenga, S.;
2017-01-01

Abstract

There is a frequently encountered subset of hypothyroid patients who are refractory to standard thyroid hormone replacement treatment and require unexpectedly high doses of levothyroxine. In addition to clinical situations where hypothyroid patients are non-compliant, or where there is the possibility of excipient-induced disease exacerbation (gluten/celiac disease), therapeutic failure may be due to impaired absorption of the administered drug. The common approach to managing patients with unusual thyroxine needs is to escalate the dose of levothyroxine until targeted TSH levels are achieved. This approach can increase the risk for prolonged exposure to supratherapeutic doses of levothyroxine, which increase the chances of adverse outcomes. Repeated adjustments of levothyroxine can also escalate the costs of treatment, as frequent office visits and laboratory tests are required to determine and maintain the desired dose. Clinicians should take a systematic approach to managing patients whom they suspect of having treatment-refractory hypothyroidism. This may include searching for, and adjusting, occult medical conditions and/or other factors that may affect the absorption of levothyroxine, before up-titrating the dose of traditional levothyroxine therapy. Depending on the underlying pathology, another approach that may be considered is to try alternative formulations of levothyroxine that are less susceptible to intolerance issues related to excipients, or, in some cases, to malabsorption. The early discovery of these factors via a thoughtful patient work-up may avoid unnecessary thyroid medication adjustments and their consequences for both patients and clinicians.
2017
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3120038
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