In July 2001, the Food and Drug Administration considered pulling the thyroid medication Synthroid off the market for safety reasons. The agency was concerned that the pills' potency varies from the amount stated on labels. Instead of receiving an established amount of the synthetic hormone, patients may receive slightly more or less, enough to cause fatigue or heart palpitations. In a few cases, patients have ended up in the hospital. According to a US News & World Report article, 150 pill lots have been recalled by manufacturers since 1991, because of concerns about unreliable dosages.
Makers of Synthroid, Cytomel, Levothroid, Levo-T and other synthetic thyroid drugs have been asked to provide the FDA with documentation about the safety of their manufacturing processes. The agency's review of the data is expected to be finished by 2003. Unithroid and Levoxyl have already been reviewed and have received FDA approval.
"Reports of thyroid drug's demise were exaggerated" by Josh Fischman. US News & World Report, July 30, 2001
COPYRIGHT 2002 The Townsend Letter Group
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