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Eur Endocrinol. 2013 Mar;9(1):40-47. doi: 10.17925/EE.2013.09.01.40. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

A Review of the Pharmacokinetics of Levothyroxine for the Treatment of Hypothyroidism.

Author information

1
Principal Scientist, Learn and Confirm Inc.
2
Principal Scientist, Learn and Confirm Inc. and PhD Candidate, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal.
3
President and CEO, Learn and Confirm Inc., St Laurent, Canada and Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada.
4
Professor of Medicine, Director, Master Program on Childhood, Adolescent and Women's Endocrine Health, and Chief, Interdepartmental Program of Molecular & Clinical Endocrinology and Women's Endocrine Healt, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.

Abstract

Thyroxine hormone has been recognised since the early part of the nineteenth century and levothyroxine has been available since the mid-nineteenth century as a replacement for deficient thyroid hormones. While levothyroxine remains the staple treatment for hypothyroidism even to this day, its optimal use can be challenging. As is often the case with older drugs, the pharmacokinetics of levothyroxine is often under-appreciated or misunderstood and many factors influence the optimal dosing of levothyroxine. This article will review the pharmacokinetics of levothyroxine in the treatment of hypothyroidism and highlight major concepts that should aid both clinicians and researchers.

KEYWORDS:

Pharmacokinetics; drugs formulations; hypothyroidism; interactions between drugs; intestinal absorption; levothyroxine

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure: Philippe Colucci, Corinne Seng Yue and Murray Ducharme are employees of Learn and Confirm Inc. and received funding from Institut Biochimique SA (IBSA). Salvatore Benvenga received from IBSA new L-thyroxine formulations for the conduct of clinical studies.

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