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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The various effects of amiodarone on thyroid function.

Amiodarone, a benzofuranic-derivative iodine-rich drug used mostly for tachyarrhythmias, often causes changes in the peripheral metabolism of thyroid hormones mainly due to the inhibition of 5'-deiodinase activity: an increase in serum thyroxine and reverse triiodothyronine, and a decrease in serum triiodothyronine concentrations. Overt thyroid dysfunction, either amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT) or amiodarone-induced hypothyroidism (AIH), occurring in 14% to 18% of patients receiving long-term treatment, may develop both in apparently normal thyroid glands and in glands with preexisting abnormalities. AIH is mainly due to the failure to escape from the acute Wolff-Chaikoff effect, and, in patients with thyroid autoimmune phenomena, to concomitant Hashimoto's thyroiditis. AIT is due to excess iodine-induced thyroid hormone synthesis (type I AIT) or to amiodarone-related destructive thyroiditis (type II AIT), although mixed forms often occur. Treatment of AIH consists of levothyroxine replacement therapy while continuing amiodarone therapy; alternatively, amiodarone can be discontinued, if possible, and the natural course toward euthyroidism can be accelerated by a short trial of potassium perchlorate. In type I AIT, the simultaneous administration of thionamides and potassium perchlorate is the treatment of choice, while in type II AIT steroids are the most useful therapeutic option. Mixed forms are best treated with a combination of thionamides, potassium perchlorate, and glucocorticoids. The low thyroidal 131I uptake usually makes radioiodine therapy not feasible, while thyroidectomy is a valid alternative in cases resistant to medical therapy.[1]


  1. The various effects of amiodarone on thyroid function. Bogazzi, F., Bartalena, L., Gasperi, M., Braverman, L.E., Martino, E. Thyroid (2001) [Pubmed]
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