Thyroid Medication Can Increase Risk of Bone Fractures

Hypothyroidism, a condition that most commonly affects older women is treatable—usually with a regimen of replacement thyroid hormone, like levothyroxine. A recent study published by the British Medical Journal links use of levothyroxine to increased bone fractures in the elderly.

The research examined data on over 200,000 users of levothyroxine, and noted dosage amounts and length of time patients had taken the drug. They also adjusted for risk factors that might affect the rate of fractures, and found people over 70 had a “significantly increased risk of fracture, with a strong dose-response relation.”

Women over the age of 50 are very susceptible to bone loss and bone thinning. The study suggests that dosage amounts should be adjusted for elderly patients. Higher doses of the hypothryroid medication may “increase the risk of fragility fractures in older people even at conventional dosages.” (LA Times)

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