PMID: 476982May 1, 1979Paper

Propranolol, triiodothyronine, reverse triiodothyronine and thyroid disease

Clinical Endocrinology
J FeelyJ Crooks


Propranolol alone was given to sixteen hyperthyroid, and concomitantly with thyroxine therapy to ten hypothyroid patients. Following treatment of the hyperthyroid group for 1-2 weeks there was a significant decrease in serum triiodothyronine (T3) which correlated with the plasma propranolol steady state concentration. The serum reverse T3 (rT3) rose significantly. Weight loss ceased in this group while weight gain occurred in patients who had a marked fall in serum T3. One patient with T3 toxicosis went into remission. The reduction in serum T3 was maintained in six patients receiving propranolol for more than 1 month. In the hypothyroid group the mean serum T3 level achieved with 0.15 mg thyroxine per day was significantly lower than in a control group who did not receive propranolol. In five patients following propranolol withdrawal there was a significant rise in T3, a fall in rT3 and TSH, and weight loss. Propranol may therefore have a clinically significant and direct action on the peripheral conversion of thyroxine to T3 and rT3.


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