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February 25, 1956


JAMA. 1956;160(8):646-652. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960430036007

• Fourteen patients who satisfied the diagnostic criteria for myxedema were observed over a two-year period during which it was possible to compare the effects of four types of medication: (1) DL-triiodothyronine hydrochloride, (2) L-triiodothyronine, (3) sodium L-thyroxin, and (4) desiccated thyroid. The four substances were all effective in raising the body temperature, accelerating the pulse, increasing the rate of oxygen consumption, decreasing the body weight, reducing the serum cholesterol and carotenoid levels, and generally improving the mental state of the patient. The only exception was a patient whose symptoms were not relieved by thyroid extract, although she responded strikingly to the other three drugs. The four drugs, with this one exception, all had the same effects and differed only in dosage. Side-effects ascribed to the triiodothyronine included palpitation, angina, dyspnea, and headache. Withdrawal symptoms generally appeared within 24 hours and gave added evidence of the effectiveness of the triiodothyronine.