Propranolol dosage in thyrotoxicosis

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
J FeelyJ Crooks


Eighteen thyrotoxic patients receiving chronic treatment with propranolol (160 mg/day) were studied to determine the relationship between plasma propranolol concentration and drug effect. There was a considerable interindividual variability in both the plasma propranolol steady state concentration and the degree of beta-adrenergic blockade. The plasma propranolol steady state concentration correlated significantly with both beta-adrenergic blockage and weight change but not with the degree of subjective improvement. In a group of 40 patients, including 10 severely thyrotoxic patients, who had the dosage of propranolol titrated objectively preoperatively to bring about a greater than 25% reduction in exercise heart rate at the end of a dosage interval, no case of thyroid storm was encountered. Many patients, the younger and severely thyrotoxic in particular, require doses in excess of 160 mg/day to achieve this degree of beta-adrenergic blockade.


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