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Influence of drugs on thyroid function

Thyroid and drugs Part 2


The use of drugs can affect the thyroid’s functioning, which can lead to hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or, in severe cases, to thyrotoxicosis. This involves various mechanisms, including changes in the release of thyroid hormones or the development of auto-immunity against the thyroid. Drugs affecting the thyroid function include amiodarone and lithium. This article informs care providers about the disadvantages of a drug with regard to thyroid function. In addition, it provides recommendations for the correct procedure for each drug.

  • Various drugs affect thyroid function, and using these drugs can lead to hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis (other than that due to hyperthyroidism).
  • It is usually possible to determine the influence of a drug on the thyroid after treatment has started, by regularly monitoring TSH levels. 
  • If the thyroid function is disturbed by a drug, one should, where possible, opt for an agent that has less of an effect, or no effect, on thyroid function, depending on the severity of the disruption and the indication of the disrupting drug.

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The literature refers to the Dutch text.

Authors

  • Suzanne de Klerk
  • Gideon Lansbergen
  • Thiemo F. Veneman
  • Sander D. Borgsteede