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Current challenges in the pharmacological management of thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy

Khan, Imtiaz, Okosieme, Onyebuchi and Lazarus, John 2016. Current challenges in the pharmacological management of thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology 10 (1) , pp. 97-109. 10.1080/17512433.2017.1253471

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Introduction: Thyroid dysfunction is common in pregnancy and has adverse fetal and maternal health consequences. A number of challenges in the management of gestational thyroid dysfunction remain unresolved including uncertainties in optimal thresholds for correction of hypothyroidism and strategies for pharmacological management of hyperthyroidism. Areas covered: We addressed key challenges and areas of uncertainty in the management of thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy. Expert commentary: Gestational thyroid hormone reference intervals vary according to population ethnicity, iodine nutrition, and assay method and each population should derive trimester specific reference intervals for use in pregnancy. Subclinical hypothyroidism and isolated hypothyroxinaemia are common in pregnancy but there is no consensus on the benefits of correcting these conditions. Although observational studies show potential benefits of levothyroxine on child neurocognitive function these benefits are have not been supported by two controlled trials. Carbimazole should be avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy due to risk of congenital anomalies but recent studies would suggest that this risk is present to a lesser magnitude with propylthiouracil. Current international guidelines recommend the use of propylthiouracil in the first trimester and switching to carbimazole for the remainder of pregnancy but the benefits and practicalities of this approach is unproven.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease, pregnancy, antithyroid drugs, levothyroxine, screening, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1751-2433
Date of Acceptance: 24 October 2016
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 02:04

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