To Take Thyroid Hormone or Not if You are Over 65 and New Subclinical Hypothyroid.
To Take Thyroid Hormone or Not if You are Over 65 and New Mild Hypothyroidism.
Waste of money and time? Maybe
TENS of thousands of patients taking a common drug to treat an under-active thyroid will get next to no benefit from it, according to a new study in then New England J.Medicine.
The placebo-controlled study involved 737 pensioners over the age of 65 with persisting hypothyroidism meaning their thyroid gland was not producing enough hormones.
Each patient had a mild form of the illness, which affects up to one in 10 older people, and displayed the telltale signs of tiredness, fluctuating weight and muscle weakness among others.
Levothyroxine is the most prescribed drug in the United States
A mildly underactive thyroid is a common condition and is typically treated with daily hormone tablets. Nine of every 10 women with the condition are prescribed such medication, typically levothyroxine.
But now the study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, has proved many are taking the drug – which was first released in 1927 – unnecessarily.
“But in mild form of the condition the evidence simply does not support the wide use of the drug. We tested it in all typical symptoms and it made no difference at all.”