The Hypothyroid Patient- Pharmacist
About 12% of the US population has some form of thyroid
disease, and more than half of them are unaware of their condition.
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid condition.
It affects about 2% of women and 0.1-0.2% of men; however, in
adults over 60 years old, 6% of women and 2.5% of men have the
Hypothyroidism is a chronic disease that requires lifelong
treatment; fortunately, it can be easily managed with thyroid
hormone replacement medication. The recommended treatment
is levothyroxine, which was the most frequently prescribed drug
in the US in 2019. Other thyroid hormone replacement medications
are available in various products and strengths, which
can be cause of confusion for healthcare providers and patients.
Choosing the correct product and dose requires a full understanding
of the disease and the treatments. Healthcare providers
should be able to provide evidence-based recommendations,
taking into consideration a patient's age, concurrent medical
conditions, and other medications. This issue will review the
pathophysiology and clinical features of hypothyroidism, as well
as drug therapy considerations. Treatment strategies for older
adults, children, and pregnant women are summarized. Subclinical
hypothyroidism is also discussed.