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November 1973

Liothyronine Treatment in Psychotic and Nonpsychotic Children Under 6 Years

Author Affiliations

New York
From the departments of psychiatry (Drs. Campbell, Fish, Shapiro, Collins, and Koh) and pediatrics (Dr. David), New York University Medical Center, New York. Dr. Fish is currently with the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(5):602-608. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200050016003

Liothyronine sodium (Cytomel) was administered to 14 psychotic and six severely disturbed nonpsychotic euthyroid preschool-age children over a period of 11 to 19 weeks.

This controlled study explored the effects of liothyronine: it was found to be physiologically active and, as demonstrated by statistical analysis of ratings, is an effective therapeutic agent in both groups of children regardless of the level of motor activity. It had antipsychotic as well as stimulating properties.

All but six patients received short-term trials of dextroamphetamine sulfate (Dexedrine) to compare the effects of the two drugs. Dextroamphetamine was equally ineffective in hyper- and hypoactive psychotic patients. The behavioral and physiological effects of liothyronine in these "euthyroid" psychiatric patients are discussed, as well as its mechanism of action in psychotic children and adults in terms of possible thyroid dysfunction.