New evidence on thyroid hormones 'powerful', but patients should not stop taking prescribed medication, says College

Publication date: 14 May 2019

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to an article in the BMJ about thyroid hormones.

She said: "Prescribing is a core skill for GPs and we will always aim to take into account the physical, psychological and social factors potentially affecting a patient before recommending any form of medication – as well as taking into account relevant clinical guidelines.

"Thyroid hormones are powerful drugs and GPs will only ever prescribe them if we think they are of genuine benefit to the person sitting in front of us, particularly as it usually means taking the tablets and being monitored in the long-term. If evidence shows that they are not going to be of benefit to our patients, it is important that we know this and that it is reflected in the clinical guidelines that inform our decision-making.

"The authors make a powerful case based on emerging evidence, and it is important that this new research is taken on board as clinical guidelines are updated and developed, in the best interests of our patients. It is also important that patients do not suddenly stop taking their thyroxine medication, but that they discuss this with their GP at their next routine medication review."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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