Papers And Originals

Treatment of Hypothyroidism: A Reappraisal of Thyroxine Therapy

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: (Published 21 July 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:131
  1. David Evered,
  2. E. T. Young,
  3. B. J. Ormston,
  4. Ruth Menzies,
  5. P. A. Smith,
  6. Reginald Hall


    Twenty-two subjects with hypothyroidism have been studied in detail before and during replacement therapy with L-thyroxine (T-4). All subjects were stabilized on the minimum dose of T-4 which was necessary to suppress their serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentration to normal, and on this dose most subjects had a normal or impaired TSH response to thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH). The daily dose of T-4 required to suppress TSH was 0·1 mg (13 subjects), 0·15 mg (six subjects), and 0·2 mg (three subjects). It was shown that all subjects were euthyroid on these doses and, using a range of thyroid function tests, that they were normal in all respects when compared with a group of euthyroid controls, with the exception of a small group who had a marginally raised serum triiodo-L-thyronine (T-3) concentration. It has been shown that those subjects who required the larger doses of T-4 had a more advanced degree of thyroid failure than those who were stabilized on 0·1 mg T-4 daily. It is concluded that conventional doses of T-4 (0·2-0·4 mg daily) are often associated with subclinical hyperthyroidism.