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July 31, 1972

Synergistic Action Between Iodine and Lithium

Author Affiliations

Dartmouth Medical School Hanover, NH

JAMA. 1972;221(5):506. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200180048015

To the Editor.—  I find of interest Dr. Wiener's comment (220:587, 1972) suggesting that a synergistic interaction between iodine and lithium carbonate may have been a major factor in precipitating a hypothyroid state in the patient whose case history was presented earlier in your column by E. D. Luby and colleagues (218:1298, 1971).It is our own experience that the production of a hypothyroid state in individuals receiving lithium is not uncommon, but in most instances antithyroid factors other than lithium, or a strong family history of thyroid disease are operative. This suggests that lithium is only a contributing rather than a sufficient cause in the production of the hypothyroid state. In 19711 we reported two cases of hypothyroidism occurring during lithium treatment. Since that time, another individual has come to our attention. Of these three individuals, one had evidence of thyroiditis, another an exceptionally strong history of three