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Peripheral thyroid hormones and response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Clinical Trial
Gitlin M, et al. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2004.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relation between baseline measurements of thyroid function and response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and to consider the effect of these antidepressants on thyroid hormone levels.

METHODS: Nineteen subjects with major depression, but without a history of thyroid treatment or lithium treatment, were treated openly with either sertraline or fluoxetine in a university- affiliated tertiary care hospital. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (Ham-D) scores were measured before and after treatment. Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) scores were measured at study end. Thyroid data, consisting of values for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), triiodothyronine (T(3), measured by radioimmunoassay [RIA]), thyroxine (T(4), measured by RIA) and free T(4), were collected before and after treatment. Complete thyroid data were available for 17 subjects. Data were collected during 1997-1999.

RESULTS: Baseline TSH correlated strongly with response to treatment as measured by change in Ham-D scores (r = 0.64, p = 0.003). Low TSH values correlated with greater improvement in depressive symptoms. Thyroid hormone levels decreased with treatment, but these decreases did not correlate with clinical improvement.

CONCLUSION: Baseline thyroid function, as measured by serum TSH, may predict a patient's response to antidepressant treatment with SSRIs. Optimal thyroid function, beyond simply being within the normal laboratory values, may be necessary for an optimal response to antidepressants.

PMID

15486607 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PMCID

PMC518867

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