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Open access

Claire L Wood, Niamh Morrison, Michael Cole, Malcolm Donaldson, David B Dunger, Ruth Wood, Simon H S Pearce, and Timothy D Cheetham


Patients with thyrotoxicosis are treated with anti-thyroid drug (ATD) using block and replace (BR) or a smaller, titrated dose of ATD (dose titration, DT).


A multi-centre, phase III, open-label trial of newly diagnosed paediatric thyrotoxicosis patients randomised to BR/DT. We compared the biochemical response to BR/DT in the first 6 months of therapy.


Patients commenced 0.75 mg/kg carbimazole (CBZ) daily with randomisation to BR/DT. We examined baseline patient characteristics, CBZ dose, time to serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)/free thyroxine (FT4) normalisation and BMI Z-score change.


There were 80 patients (baseline) and 78 patients (61 female) at 6 months. Mean CBZ dose was 0.9 mg/kg/day (BR) and 0.5 mg/kg/day (DT). There was no difference in time to non-suppressed TSH concentration; 16 of 39 patients (BR) and 11 of 39 (DT) had suppressed TSH at 6 months. Patients with suppressed TSH had higher mean baseline FT4 levels (72.7 vs 51.7 pmol/L; 95% CI for difference 1.73, 31.7; P = 0.029). Time to normalise FT4 levels was reduced in DT (log-rank test, P = 0.049) with 50% attaining normal FT4 at 28 days (95% CI 25, 32) vs 35 days in BR (95% CI 28, 58). Mean BMI Z-score increased from 0.10 to 0.81 at 6 months (95% CI for difference 0.57, 0.86; P < 0.001) and was greatest in patients with higher baseline FT4 concentrations.


DT-treated patients normalised FT4 concentrations more quickly than BR. Overall, 94% of patients have normal FT4 levels after 6 months, but 33% still have TSH suppression. Excessive weight gain occurs with both BR and DT therapy.

Free access

Jonah Robinson, Max Richardson, Janis Hickey, Andy James, Simon H. Pearce, Steve G. Ball, Richard Quinton, Margaret Morris, Margaret Miller, and Petros Perros

Background: Agranulocytosis is a serious side effect of antithyroid drugs. Objective: To ascertain the knowledge of patients and review the quality of information available on the internet. Methods: A questionnaire survey was performed for patients receiving antithyroid drugs. Patients attending endocrine clinics who were receiving antithyroid drug treatment (group A, n = 33) were interviewed. A further national cohort of patients (group B, n = 100) treated with antithyroid drugs, participated in an online survey. Results: 60.9% of responders were not aware of the common symptoms of agranulocytosis. 18.6% had never received any information about side effects. Of the 108 patients who recalled receiving information, 30% rated the quality as ‘poor' or ‘not good at all'. Structured interviews of group A patients revealed that almost half (45.5%, 15/33) had experienced symptoms that could be indicative of agranulocytosis, but only 53.3% (8/15) had a blood count checked. A review of 20 selected patient information internet sites revealed a significant variation in advice given to patients. Conclusions: Inadequate knowledge about agranulocytosis among patients receiving antithyroid drug treatment is common. The available information on the internet is variable and inconsistent.