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Medicina (B Aires). 2017;77(5):394-404.

Drug-induced hypothyroidism.

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Dirección Médica Química Montpellier SA, Argentina.
Dirección Médica Química Montpellier SA, Argentina. E-mail:
Cátedra de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, U.C.A., Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The thyroid axis is particularly prone to interactions with a wide variety of drugs, whose list increases year by year. Hypothyroidism is the most frequent consequence of drug-induced thyroid dysfunction. The main mechanisms involved in the development of primary hypothyroidism are: inhibition of the synthesis and/or release of thyroid hormones, immune mechanisms related to the use of interferon and other cytokines, and the induction of thyroiditis associated with the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors and drugs blocking the receptors for vascular endothelial growth factor. Central hypothyroidism may be induced by inhibition of thyroid-stimulating hormone (bexarotene or corticosteroids) or by immunological mechanisms (anti-CTLA4 or anti-PD-1 antibody drugs). It is also important to recognize those drugs that generate hypothyroidism by interaction in its treatment, either by reducing the absorption or by altering the transport and metabolism of levothyroxine. Thus, it is strongly recommended to evaluate thyroid function prior to the prescription of medications such as amiodarone, lithium, or interferon, and the new biological therapies that show important interaction with thyroid and endocrine function in general.


drugs; hypothyroidism; thyroid

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