No change in the consumption of thyroid hormones after starting low dose naltrexone (LDN): a quasi-experimental before-after study (Abstract)

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No change in the consumption of thyroid hormones after starting low dose naltrexone (LDN): a quasi-experimental before-after study (Abstract)

BMC Endocr Disord
01 Oct 2020
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33004044/

Background: Low dose naltrexone (LDN) is reported to have beneficial effects in several autoimmune diseases. The purpose of this study was to examine whether starting LDN was followed by changes in the dispensing of thyroid hormones to patients with hypothyroidism.

Methods: We performed a quasi-experimental before-after study based on the Norwegian Prescription Database. Study participants were identified by using reimbursement codes for hypothyroidism. Cumulative dispensed Defined Daily Doses and the number of users of triiodothyronine (T3) and levothyroxine (LT4) 1 year before and after the first LDN prescription was compared in three groups based on LDN exposure.

Results: We identified 898 patients that met the inclusion criteria. There was no association between starting LDN and the subsequent dispensing of thyroid hormones. If anything, there was a tendency towards increasing LT4 consumption with increasing LDN exposure.

Conclusion: The results of this study do not support claims of efficacy of LDN in hypothyroidism.

Keywords: Endocrinology; Hypothyroidism; Levothyroxine; Naltrexone; Pharmacoepidemiology; Triiodohyronine.