The Oransky Journal

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Veterinarians, please don’t take your dog’s thyroid medication

with one comment

You may remember the flap over then-presidential candidate Al Gore’s pronouncement that his mother-in-law’s arthritis drugs cost more than those he was giving his dog.

But one veterinarian may have taken the “I’ll just use pet drugs instead” idea a bit too far.

In the American Journal of Medicine, SUNY Stony Brook’s Harmeet Singh Narula reports on the case of a “33-year-old veterinarian with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism” — that’s an autoimmune disorder that causes low thyroid hormone levels — who showed up to the doctor’s office with “mild anxiety, jitteriness, and insomnia.”

Lo and behold, her thyroid hormone levels were high. But why?

On further questioning, the patient realized she had recently run out of her prescribed levothyroxine tablets and had been taking levothyroxine “dog tabs” 0.5 mg/d, thinking that would be the same as the 50-μg tablets she had been prescribed, inadvertently taking 10 times the prescribed dose.

Her doctor stopped the dog tabs, and eventually restarted her on her original dose. The vet also got a warning:

The patient was instructed to take her prescribed levothyroxine tablets and not use her levothyroxine “dog tabs” in the future.

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Sounds like a Seinfeld episode. In my mind’s ear (what a strange phrase), I can hear Kramer coughing like a dog.


    May 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

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