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Article
February 8, 1980

Hormonal Content of Thyroid Replacement Preparations

Author Affiliations

From the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Laboratory and Thyroid Unit, Department of Medicine, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Drs Rees-Jones and Larsen), and the Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital (Dr Rolla), Boston. Dr ReesJones is currently with the Department of Medicine, Presbyterian University Hospital, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.

JAMA. 1980;243(6):549-550. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300320041023
Abstract

ACCORDING to present pharmaceutical industry estimates, there were 15 million prescriptions written in the last year for thyroid replacement in the United States. Of these, approximately 50% were for synthetic hormones, and the remainder were for preparations derived from animal sources. At present, both generic thyroid and levothyroxine preparations are available, and their use has been encouraged by recent changes in prescription regulations. Since the Food and Drug Administration still accepts the United States Pharmacopeia standard based on organic iodine content for this medication, there is no specification of the precise hormonal content of these tablets. This study reports the triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) content of a number of generic thyroid and T4 preparations, using a radioimmunoassay.1 This survey was occasioned by the experience of a patient who received a biologically ineffective thyroid tablet.

Report of a Case  A 54-year-old woman with primary hypothyroidism since

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