How is hypothyroidism treated in subacute thyroiditis?

Updated: Mar 23, 2021
  • Author: Stephanie L Lee, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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The hypothyroid phase in subacute thyroiditis is usually mild and transient, and typically it does not require treatment. However, if symptoms are present or the TSH level is elevated, the patient needs replacement therapy with levothyroxine. Depending on the level of TSH, the starting dose can be 25-100 mcg/day; it is adjusted for normalization of TSH. Usually, the hypothyroid stage lasts 2-3 months, but some authors recommend treatment for as long as 6 months, followed by discontinuation of the drug and monitoring of TSH levels.

In rare cases, the hypothyroidism becomes permanent, with the patient requiring lifelong replacement therapy.

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