Triiodothyronine (T3) augmentation in treatment-resistant depression had been successfully performed with both tricyclic as well as with SSRI antidepressants. In this paper, the efficacy of addition of moderate dose of l-thyroxine (T4) to serotonergic antidepressants in refractory depression was evaluated.
The study included 17 female patients, aged 30-60 years, with treatment-resistant depressive episode in the course of unipolar or bipolar mood disorder. All patients had no history of thyroid axis disturbances and had T3, T4, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) values within the normal range. The antidepressants preceding thyroxine augmentation were serotonergic antidepressants (clomipramine - 11 patients, paroxetine - 5 patients, fluoxetine - 1 patient). l-thyroxine was added in the dose of 100 microm daily for 4 weeks.
After four weeks of l-thyroxine augmentation, the remission, assessed as 7 or less points on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was obtained in eleven patients (64.7%). Five other patients (29.5%) had responded (reduction>50% on HDRS) and one patient did not show an improvement. The efficacy of augmentation did not show any correlation with laboratory tests' results performed before (T3, T4, TSH and TSH stimulation test) as well as with any clinical factors (age, diagnosis, duration of illness, duration of episode).
The addition of moderate dose of l-thyroxine may be a successful augmentation strategy in female depressed patients in whom the effect of serotonergic antidepressant had been unsatisfactory. It may be efficient despite of the lack of disturbances of thyroid axis in such patients.
"Two of the more recent studies have attempted thyroid hormone augmentation of patients with refractory bipolar depression using slightly different strategies. Łojko et al. found addition of moderate doses of T4 (100 mcg/day) to be a successful augmentation strategy in female patients with bipolar depression, who had had an unsatisfactory response to serotonergic antidepressants. Another retrospective chart review of 125 patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression showed augmentation with high dose T3 to be highly effective, though there were some concerns about adverse effects of this treatment . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests that hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis dysfunction is relevant to the pathophysiology and clinical course of bipolar affective disorder. Hypothyroidism, either overt or more commonly subclinical, appears to the commonest abnormality found in bipolar disorder. The prevalence of thyroid dysfunction is also likely to be greater among patients with rapid cycling and other refractory forms of the disorder. Lithium-treatment has potent antithyroid effects and can induce hypothyroidism or exacerbate a preexisting hypothyroid state. Even minor perturbations of the HPT axis may affect the outcome of bipolar disorder, necessitating careful monitoring of thyroid functions of patients on treatment. Supplementation with high dose thyroxine can be considered in some patients with treatment-refractory bipolar disorder. Neurotransmitter, neuroimaging, and genetic studies have begun to provide clues, which could lead to an improved understanding of the thyroid-bipolar disorder connection, and more optimal ways of managing this potentially disabling condition.
Journal of Thyroid Research 07/2011; 2011(3):306367. DOI:10.4061/2011/306367
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interactions between brain, psyche and thyroid are known from historical descriptions of thyroidectomy (Kocher) and hyperthyroidism. However, their importance is often underscored in clinical routine. Thyroid hormone deficiency during pregnancy may result in irreversible mental retardation and requires levothyroxine substitution. TSH screening after delivery must identify newborns with congenital hypothyroidism: An early levothyroxine substitution and long term therapy control are required. Hypothyroidism and depression have many symptoms in common. Cognitive deficits and depressive states are often found in overt hypothyroidism, psychotic derangements are rare. Levothyroxine improves hypothyroid symptoms and mental performance, mood and motivation. Psychic symptoms of hyperthyroidism include agitation, irritability, mood disturbances, hyperactivity, anxiousness and even panic attacks. Manic and delusional states are rare. In geriatric patients hyperthyroidism may be oligosymptomatic. In psychiatric patients more frequent but unspecific disturbances of thyroid laboratory values being reversible without specific therapy have to be distinguished from rather rare but causative organic thyroid diseases with therapeutic consequences. Some psychiatric drugs influence thyroid laboratory results. Hypothyroidism in depressive patients is a negative prognostic parameter and requires therapy. Psychiatric symptoms associated with hypothyroidism are usually reversible under levothyroxine within 4-8 weeks. The standard for hypothyroidism is mono-levothyroxine therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 62 patients with major depressive disorder were analyzed in the study. Patients were evaluated for 11 weeks in an open label design to investigate the differential effects of reboxetine, sertraline and venlafaxine on thyroid hormones. Serum thyrotrophin (TSH), thyroxine (T4) and free (f)T4 levels were measured before and after treatment. All groups showed significant improvement in HAM-D scores. TSH level significantly reduced and T4 level significantly increased in the reboxetine group, however TSH level significantly increased and T4 level significantly reduced in the sertraline group. Percent changes of TSH (p=0.007) and T4 (p=0.001) were significantly different between the reboxetine and sertraline groups. In the sertraline group, baseline TSH levels were correlated with response to treatment as determined by the change in HAM-D scores (p=0.03, r=0.648). There was a significant association between the percent changes in TSH values and the reduction in HAM-D scores in the reboxetine group (p=0.03, r=-0.434). In the whole study group, female patients had lower values of basal T4 compared with men (p=0.043), however percent changes of T4 did not differ between genders. In the treatment-responders significant increase in the reboxetine group and significant decrease in the sertraline group regarding the T4 values were found. We observed that various antidepressants had different effects on thyroid hormone levels and this could be attributed to the different mechanisms of actions of these antidepressants.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 06/2008; 32(4):955-61. DOI:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2007.12.029 · 3.69 Impact Factor
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