They recommended studies with a longer duration to clarify the efficacy and safety of desiccated thyroid.
I have several comments on this paper.
First, I found it to be a very well-designed and well-executed study done by a reputable group and published in a superb journal. I've noted that the Armour Thyroid was given as a single dose once a day without levothyroxine.
Since Armour Thyroid contains T3 that has a short half-life, I prescribe Armour Thyroid twice a day with additional levothyroxine. I suspect that if the study gave Armour Thyroid twice a day plus levothyroxine supplementation, those patients would have done even better than on once-a-day Armour Thyroid.
This study clearly refuted that Armour Thyroid is inferior to levothyroxine.
The study also pointed out the importance of trying to determine the subset of patients to put on desiccated thyroid.
A significant subset of patients did prefer the desiccated thyroid. Those who preferred desiccated thyroid were more likely to have autoimmune thyroid disease and had a slightly higher reverse T3, although neither of these were significant.
The study examined all patients with hypothyroidism on levothyroxine replacement, most of whom were doing well. If the study used the subset of patients who were on levothyroxine replacement and feeling poor, I surmise that they would have done even better on desiccated thyroid.
Many of the patients who come to see me have a low quality of life on levothyroxine replacement. If your doctor refuses to prescribe desiccated thyroid, show them the 2013 article or better yet, come out and see me.
Edited by Jody Smith