Self-Reported Allergy to Thyroid Replacement Therapy: A Multicenter Retrospective Chart Review

Natalia Chamorro-Pareja, Ismael Carrillo-Martin, Daniela A. Haehn, Sydney A. Westphal, Miguel A. Park, Victor J. Bernet, Alexei Gonzalez-Estrada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine patterns of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), including immediate drug hypersensitivity reactions (DHRs) and predictable ADRs, to thyroid replacement therapy (TRT). TRT is the treatment of choice for hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine (LT4) is among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States, with over 70 million prescriptions annually. Documented immediate DHRs to TRT are rare, with only a few case reports. Methods: An 11-year (2008-2018) retrospective medical chart review of identified patients with self-reported allergy to TRT. ADRs to TRT were divided into immediate DHRs and predictable ADRs. Results: A total of 466 patients were included in our study. We found an overall incidence of ADRs to TRT of 0.3%. Median age was 61.2 years; 85.8% were women, and 94.4% were Caucasian. The principal indication for TRT was autoimmune hypothyroidism (73.6%), followed by postsurgical hypothyroidism (17.4%) and subclinical hypothyroidism (6.7%). Predictable ADR manifestations to TRT were reported more commonly than DHR manifestations (57.5% vs. 42.5%, respectively). The most frequently reported of the former were palpitations (16.4%), nausea/vomiting (9.3%), and tremor (6.3%), while rash (23.8%), hives (9.5%), and pruritus (7.1%) were the most common regarding the latter. Fifty-six percent of the patients with an ADR to TRT tolerated an alternative TRT presentation. Conclusion: In our cohort, the majority of self-reported allergies to TRT were due to predictable ADRs rather than an immediate DHR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-767
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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