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Endocrine

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 154–160 | Cite as

A novel formulation of l-thyroxine (l-T4) reduces the problem of l-T4 malabsorption by coffee observed with traditional tablet formulations

  • Roberto VitaEmail author
  • Giovanna Saraceno
  • Francesco Trimarchi
  • Salvatore Benvenga
Original Article

Abstract

The purpose of this work is to evaluate if the coffee-associated malabsorption of tablet levothyroxine (l-T4) is reduced by soft gel capsule. We recruited 8 patients with coffee-associated l-T4 malabsorption including one hypothyroid patient. For 6 months, the patients were switched to the capsule maintaining the l-T4 daily dose. Patients took the capsule with water, having coffee 1 h later (proper habit, PH) on days 1–90, or with coffee ≤5 min later (improper habit, IH) on days 91–180. After 6 months, 2 patients volunteered for an acute loading test of 600 μg l-T4 (capsule) ingested with water (PH) or with coffee (IH). In the single hypothyroid patient, the post-switch TSH ranged 0.06–0.16 mU/L (PH) versus 5.8–22.4 mU/L pre-switch (PH) and 0.025–0.29 mU/L (IH) versus 26–34 mU/L pre-switch (IH). In the other 7 patients, post-switch TSH was 0.41 ± 0.46 (PH) versus 0.28 ± 0.20 pre-switch (PH) (P = 0.61) and 0.34 ± 0.30 (IH) versus 1.23 ± 1.47 pre-switch (IH) (P < 0.001). Importantly, TSH levels in PH versus IH habit did not differ post-switch (P = 0.90), but they did pre-switch (P < 0.0001). The proportions of post-switch TSH levels <0.10 mU/L with PH (33.3 %) or with IH (33.3 %) were borderline significantly greater than the corresponding pre-switch levels with PH (10.3 %) (P = 0.088) or with IH (0 %) (P = 0.0096). In the two volunteers, the l-T4 loading test showed that coffee influenced l-T4 pharmacokinetics minimally. Soft gel capsules can be used in patients who are unable/unwilling to change their IH of taking l-T4.

Keywords

l-Thyroxine therapy l-T4 formulations l-Thyroxine malabsorption Coffee Hypothyroidism 

Notes

Conflict of interest

IBSA Institut Biochimique SA (Lugano, Switzerland) furnished the principal investigator (S.B.) with the capsules for the entire duration of the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Vita
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giovanna Saraceno
    • 1
  • Francesco Trimarchi
    • 1
  • Salvatore Benvenga
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Endocrinology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine & PharmacologyUniversity of Messina, A.O.U. Policlinico G. MartinoMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Master of Childhood, Adolescent and Women’s Endocrine HealthUniversity of Messina, A.O.U. Policlinico G. MartinoMessinaItaly
  3. 3.Interdepartmental Program of Molecular & Clinical Endocrinology, and Women’s Endocrine HealthUniversity Hospital of Messina, A.O.U. Policlinico G. MartinoMessinaItaly

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