RCP press release dated 6 Feb 2009

Is Levothyroxine safe and effective treatment for hypothyroidism?

Claim made by: Royal College of Physicians
Location: Royal College of Physicians https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/press-releases/thyroxine-only-treatment-primary-hypothyroidism
Spotted on: 2014-11-06

Levothyroxine is a safe and effective treatment for hypothyroidism. I would like to see the clinical trials proving this is a safe and effective treatment for hypothyroidism. I have asked the EMA , NICE and MHRA and no one has provided any evidence.

Update 2014-11-06

Comments: 3

lorraine cleaver

And the response? If it was not for the fact that their policy on treating hypothyroidism was keeping thousands ill and no doubt killing people, I would laugh. But their policy is indeed keeping us ill and people are dying. No, the death certificate most likely won't say hypothyroidism but people are dying of it just the same - through heart failure, obesity complications, depression and suicide, respiratory problems, I could go on.

Dear Lorraine Cleaver

Thank you for your enquiry.

The RCP’s guidance is based on the opinion of an expert panel which was temporarily formed for this purpose. The evidence they used to form their individual opinions has not been collated and therefore the RCP cannot provide a reference list.

The panel included representatives from the Association for Clinical Biochemistry, the Society for Endocrinology, the British Thyroid Association, the British Thyroid Foundation Patient Support Group, and the British Society of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Kind regards,
Karen Reid

Kind regards

RCP Enquiries
Library, Archive and Museum Services
Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place | Regent’s Park | London NW1 4LE

Sally MacGregor

Unbelievable that the RCP cannot provide the list of references on which they are basing their guidance for the use of levothyroxine. As someone with a background in research I would like to suggest that, at the very least, this shortfall smacks of incompetence or shoddy practice.

As a thyroid patient, whose life has improved immeasurably during the last two months since starting to supplement with liothyronine, I wholeheartedly back Lorraine Cleaver's campaign and the searching questions that she is asking about the efficacy of levothyroxine.

The RCP does not seem to acknowledge that levothyroxine is not effective for those who have problems converting T4 to T3 at cellular level. I have test results (DIO2 genetic test) that show Ithat my ability to convert T4 to T3 is significantly impaired due to faulty genetic encoding of the deiodinase 2 enzyme. I had to have this test done privately.

It is scientifically proven and well known that the deiodinase enzymes are responsible for converting T4 to T3 in many sites around the body. No endocrinologist could refute that. If this process is impaired by genetic problems that are quantifiable, I can't understand why
a) the larger endocrinology and medical community seem to be ignorant of the significance of this test
b) this test is not offered on the NHS.

The obvious deduction if they were to acknowledge the DIO2 test would be that FT3 testing is worthwhile and medication containing T3 wholly necessary.

lorraine cleaver

As a thyroidectomised patient with Graves diagnosis, I was assured doctors would replace the hormones my now removed thyroid could no longer provide. They failed to do so. They provided one synthetic hormone, levothyroxine. My thyroid produced Thyroxine, Liothyronine, T2, T1 and Calcitonin. I was deathly ill on levothyroxine, obese, bald, tachycardic, hypertensive and suffering in many mineral and vitamin deficiencies. I would take strong issue with the claim that most patients do well on Levothyroxine alone. I also would like to see the clinical trials and evidence proving the safety and efficacy of this synthetic hormone.

I have petitioned the Scottish Parliament ( PE01463) for better thyroid testing and treatment. I am deeply unhappy with the attitude of the Royal College of Physicians and it's refusal to attend a meeting the Petitions Committee held last year to discuss this issue.


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