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Research Article

Treatment of amiodarone induced hyperthyroidism with potassium perchlorate and methimazole during amiodarone treatment.

BMJ 1989; 298 doi: (Published 10 June 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;298:1547
  1. L. J. Reichert,
  2. H. A. de Rooy
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, St Joseph's Hospital, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.


    To exploit the antiarrhythmic effect of amiodarone when patients develop the side effect of thyrotoxicosis three patients with hyperthyroidism induced by amiodarone were given simultaneously 1 g potassium perchlorate a day for 40 days and a starting dose of 40 mg methimazole a day while they continued to take amiodarone. As hyperthyroidism might have recurred after potassium perchlorate treatment was stopped the dose of methimazole was not reduced until biochemical hypothyroidism (raised thyroid stimulating hormone concentrations) was achieved. The patients became euthyroid (free triiodothyronine concentration returned to normal values) in two to five weeks and hypothyroid in 10 to 14 weeks. One patient became euthyroid while taking 5 mg methimazole a day and 600 mg amiodarone weekly; the two others required substitution treatment with thyroxine sodium while taking 5 mg methimazole or 50 mg propylthiouracil (because of an allergic reaction to methimazole) and 2100 or 1400 mg amiodarone weekly. Hyperthyroidism induced by amiodarone may be treated with potassium perchlorate and methimazole given simultaneously while treatment with amiodarone is continued.