JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Effect of timing of levothyroxine administration on the treatment of hypothyroidism: a three-period crossover randomized study.

Endocrine 2018 November
AIM: Hypothyroidism is a common clinical problem that is successfully treated with hormone substitutes in the form of levothyroxine (LT4). LT4 is a drug with a narrow therapeutic index and is usually administered by strict rules, standardly at least half an hour before breakfast. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible effect of different timings of administration on thyroid function status and lipid profile.

METHODS: The study included patients with the diagnosis of primary hypothyroidism, which were using a stable dose of levothyroxine. They were randomized into three different groups regarding the timing of LT4 administration in a crossover fashion. Each timing regimen lasted for at least 8 weeks; timing regimen A-half an hour before breakfast; timing regimen B-an hour before the main meal of the day; timing regimen C-at bedtime (minimally 2 h after dinner). The hormones (TSH, fT3, fT4) and lipid profile (triglycerides, HDL-, LDL-, and total cholesterol) were measured before the study, at the beginning of every timing regimen and at the end of the study.

RESULTS: Altogether, 84 patients finished the study. Different timings of LT4 administration were non-inferior in comparison to the standard one and between each other. Median differences in TSH level between baseline and timing regimens were: baseline vs. A = -0.017 95% C.I. (-0.400-0.192); baseline vs. B = -0.325 95% C.I. (-0.562-0.023); baseline vs. C = -0.260 95% C.I. (-0.475-0.000). There were no statistically significant differences in either TSH, fT4, or fT3 when compared between all three timing regimens of LT4 administration and the baseline. There were no statistically significant differences in any of the lipid profile parameters (triglycerides, HDL-, LDL-, and total cholesterol) when compared between all three timing regimens of LT4 administration and the baseline.

CONCLUSION: The three investigated timing regimens of LT4 administration were equally efficient and offer additional options regarding the treatment individualization.

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