Sustained Remission of Psychotic Symptoms Secondary to Hypothyroidism (Myxedema Psychosis) After 6 Months of Treatment Primarily With Levothyroxine

A Case Report

Eric C. Chan


J Med Case Reports. 2022;16(378) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Psychotic symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, also known as "myxedema psychosis," are a treatable cause of psychosis often associated with complete recovery. While most cases receive both thyroxine and a short course of antipsychotics, some reports indicate that symptoms can resolve without antipsychotic treatment, though follow-up in these cases has often been short or not reported. This is one of the first case reports demonstrating sustained remission of psychotic symptoms at 6 months in a case of myxedema psychosis treated with minimal antipsychotic medication.

Case Presentation: We describe the case of a 40-year-old Caucasian woman who was brought to hospital with a 7-day history of anxiety and decreased sleep and 1 day of disorganized speech, paranoid delusions, and auditory hallucinations. After being admitted to psychiatry for management, screening blood work revealed elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone. The patient was initiated on treatment with levothyroxine and low doses of antipsychotics. Her symptoms resolved on the third day of her admission with ongoing symptomatic remission at 6 months follow-up.

Conclusions: The identification of myxedema psychosis is important owing to the implications on treatment and prognosis of the disorder. Our case suggests that sustained symptom resolution may occur with little to no antipsychotic treatment, though these findings are preliminary and additional study is needed before definitive conclusions on the optimal approach can be made.