T-3 Augmentation in Major Depressive Disorder: Safety Considerations

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 10/2011; 168(10):1035-40. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.10030402
Source: PubMed

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    ABSTRACT: Levothyroxine therapy is the traditional lifelong replacement therapy for hypothyroid patients. Over the last several years, new evidence has led clinicians to evaluate the option of combined T(3) and T(4) treatment to improve the quality of life, cognition, and peripheral parameters of thyroid hormone action in hypothyroidism. The aim of this review is to assess the physiological basis and the results of current studies on this topic. We searched Medline for reports published with the following search terms: hypothyroidism, levothyroxine, triiodothyronine, thyroid, guidelines, treatment, deiodinases, clinical symptoms, quality of life, cognition, mood, depression, body weight, heart rate, cholesterol, bone markers, SHBG, and patient preference for combined therapy. The search was restricted to reports published in English since 1970, but some reports published before 1970 were also incorporated. We supplemented the search with records from personal files and references of relevant articles and textbooks. Parameters analyzed included the rationale for combination treatment, the type of patients to be selected, the optimal T(4)/T(3) ratio, and the potential benefits of this therapy on symptoms of hypothyroidism, quality of life, mood, cognition, and peripheral parameters of thyroid hormone action. The outcome of our analysis suggests that it may be time to consider a personalized regimen of thyroid hormone replacement therapy in hypothyroid patients. Further prospective randomized controlled studies are needed to clarify this important issue. Innovative formulations of the thyroid hormones will be required to mimic a more perfect thyroid hormone replacement therapy than is currently available.
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To be used in conjunction with ‘Psychological management of unipolar depression’ [Lampe et al. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2013;127(Suppl. 443):24–37] and ‘Lifestyle management of unipolar depression’ [Berk et al. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2013;127(Suppl. 443):38–54]. To provide clinically relevant recommendations for the use of pharmacological treatments in depression derived from a literature review. Method Using our previous Clinical Practice Guidelines [Malhi et al. Clinical practice recommendations for bipolar disorder. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2009;119(Suppl. 439):27–46] as a foundation, these clinician guidelines target key practical considerations when prescribing pharmacotherapy. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted using electronic database searches (PubMed, MEDLINE), and the findings have been synthesized and integrated alongside clinical experience. ResultsThe pharmacotherapy of depression is an iterative process that often results in partial and non-response. Beyond the initiation of antidepressants, the options within widely used strategies, such as combining agents and switching between agents, are difficult to proscribe because of the paucity of pertinent research. However, there is some evidence for second-line strategies, and a non-prescriptive algorithm can be derived that is based broadly on principles rather than specific steps. Conclusion Depression is by its very nature a heterogeneous illness that is consequently difficult to treat. Invariably, situation-specific factors often play a significant role and must be considered, especially in the case of partial and non-response. Consulting with colleagues and trialling alternate treatment paradigms are essential strategies in the management of depression.
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