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Goiter Medication

  • Author: James R Mulinda, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
Updated: Jul 13, 2016

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.


Thyroid hormone replacements

Class Summary

Benign goiters can be treated with thyroid hormone. The most widely used thyroid hormone is levothyroxine sodium, administered once a day. Liothyronine sodium requires more frequent administration. Desiccated thyroid powder, thyroglobulin, and liotrix are less predictable following ingestion.

Levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid)


Synthetic thyroxine is converted to the active form, triiodothyronine by 5'-deiodinase. Within the pituitary, type-II deiodinase helps convert T4 to T3, which in turn regulates TSH production, the main growth factor for the thyroid gland.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

James R Mulinda, MD, FACP Consulting Staff, Department of Endocrinology, Endocrinology Associates, Inc

James R Mulinda, MD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Kent Wehmeier, MD Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, St Louis University School of Medicine

Kent Wehmeier, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society of Hypertension, Endocrine Society, International Society for Clinical Densitometry

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP Professor of Endocrinology, Director of Training Program, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Strelitz Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders Institute, Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Physicians, American Diabetes Association, Endocrine Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Steven R Gambert, MD Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Director of Geriatric Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center and R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center

Steven R Gambert, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Association for Physician Leadership, American College of Physicians, American Geriatrics Society, Endocrine Society, Gerontological Society of America, Association of Professors of Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Patient with a goiter. Prominent side-view outline.
Thyroid nuclear scan of a patient with a euthyroid goiter showing different projections.
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