Clinical review: hyper- and hypothyroidism

  • Ilse Truter Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Keywords: Thyroid, Thyrotoxicosis, Myxoedema, Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), Levothyroxine


Thyroid disorders can range from a slightly enlarged thyroid gland, that needs no treatment, to life-threatening thyroid cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve the abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid function disorders can generally be grouped into two classes, namely hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The proper treatment of hyper- and hypothyroidism depends on recognition of the signs and symptoms of the disease and determination of the aetiology. In hyperthyroidism, treatment consists of thiouracils or thioamides, iodine therapy, thyroidectomy, radioactive iodine and/or beta blockers. For hypothyroidism, treatment consists of substituting the deficient hormone, mostly with levothyroxine. The pharmacist’s role in both hyper- and hypothyroidism is supportive, assisting the patient to reach a euthyroid state.

Author Biography

Ilse Truter, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
DCom, BPharm, MSc, PhD Drug Utilisation Research Unit (DURU) Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Evidence-Based Pharmaceutical Practice