New Hypothyroidism Guidelines Uphold Levothyroxine as Standard of Care

SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
Eileen Oldfield, Associate Editor
New guidelines from the American Thyroid Association (ATA) recommend that the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine should remain the standard of care for treating hypothyroidism.
After reviewing the latest clinical data to determine whether the current treatment standards for hypothyroidism should be revised, an expert association task force found no consistent evidence supporting the superiority of alternative therapies such as thyroid extracts and compounded thyroid hormones over levothyroxine.
“These ATA guidelines, developed by an expert team, provide useful, up-to-date information on why to treat, including subclinical disease, who to treat, and how to treat hypothyroidism,” said Hossein Gharib, MD, president of the ATA and a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, in a press release. “I think they will be used extensively by all clinical endocrinologists.”
However, the task force stressed that the new guidelines are only intended to guide treatment decisions on thyroid hormone replacement therapy for individual patients.
“These very comprehensive guidelines provide a superb overview on the current evidence about treatment modalities for patients with hypothyroidism,” said Peter A. Kopp, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Thyroid, which published the new guidelines. “The document highlights gaps in our knowledge and indicates which topics are in need of future research; for example, the need for long-term outcome clinical trials testing combination therapies and continuing research on thyroid hormone analogs.”