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Comment on: Levothyrox® New and Old Formulations: Are They Switchable for Millions of Patients?

  • Philippe TréchotEmail author
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I read with particular interest the article by Concordet et al. [1] entitled “Levothyrox® new and old formulations: are they switchable for millions of patients?”, which was recently published in Clinical Pharmacokinetics. We must now propose pharmacological hypotheses in order to understand the origin of these adverse effects, and subsequently learn lessons for the future.

In March 2017, a new formula (NF) of levothyroxine (a drug with a narrow therapeutic index) was introduced onto the French market by Merck Santé Laboratories. Shortly thereafter, a very significant increase in adverse reactions (memory loss, palpitations, fatigue, weight gain, dizziness, etc.) was reported by patients (some of whom were not informed there had been a NF) to the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM). Surprisingly, only the excipients had been modified in the levothyroxine NF, with lactose being replaced by the ‘well-known’ mannitol (the filler) and citric...

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

No external funds were used in the preparation of this letter.

Conflict of interest

Philippe Tréchot declares no potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to the contents of this letter.

References

  1. 1.
    Concordet D, Gandia P, Montastruc JL, Bousquet-Mélou A, Lees P, Ferran A, et al. Levothyrox® new and old formulations: are they switchable for millions of patients? Clin Pharmacokinet. 2019.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40262-019-007747-3.Google Scholar
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    Lindenblatt, et al. Solid pharmaceutical preparation containing levothyroxine. United States Patent Application Publication. Merck patent GMBH. US 2015/0231101 A1. 2015.Google Scholar
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    ANSM. Direction des contrôles. 12/09/2017. Note de synthèse 17-A-033.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Honorary Hospital Practitioner, Pharmacology and ToxicologyCHRUNancyFrance

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