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Drug interactions with thyroid hormones

Martin I Surks, MD
Section Editor
Douglas S Ross, MD
Deputy Editor
Jean E Mulder, MD


Many patients whose thyroid function is evaluated also take medications for a variety of nonthyroidal illnesses. As a result, clinicians must be aware of the interactions between various drugs and thyroid function, including measurements of serum thyroid hormones and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

Issues relating to the major drug-induced or drug-related abnormalities in thyroid hormone secretion, transport, and metabolism will be reviewed here (table 1). Many of these interactions are discussed in detail separately.


Before discussing the different drug interactions with thyroid hormones, it is helpful to review briefly thyroid hormone metabolism and the pathways that may be affected by the administration of drugs.

Thyroidal synthesis and secretion of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are dependent on thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) (figure 1). Under the influence of TSH, thyroid follicular cells sequentially perform the following functions:

Transport of iodide from serum into the cells


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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Aug 06 00:00:00 GMT 2015.
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