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Alterations in Serum Thyroid Hormonal Indices with Colestipol-Niacin Therapy

LINDA CASHIN-HEMPHILL, M.D.; CAROLE A. SPENCER, Ph.D.; JOHN T. NICOLOFF, M.D.; DAVID H. BLANKENHORN, M.D.; SHARON A. NESSIM, Dr.P.H.; H. P. CHIN, Ph.D.; and NORMAN A. LEE, M.S.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by grants HL23619 and AM11727 and General Clinical Research Center grant RR-43 from the National Institutes of Health and by The Upjohn Company.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to David H. Blankenhorn, M.D.; RMR 102, 2025 Zonal Avenue; Los Angeles, CA 90033.


Los Angeles, California


© 1987 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1987;107(3):324-329. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-107-2-324
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A serial blood-lipid-lowering study at the University of Southern California yielded unexpected findings on routine thyroid function monitoring. After 1 year of combined colestipol and niacin therapy, patients had reduced total serum thyroxine (T4) levels and increased triiodothyronine uptake ratios, an indicator of apparent decreases in thyroxine-binding globulin levels. Calculation of the free T4 index partially but not completely corrected for the apparent decrease in thyroxine-binding globulin, as determined by a relatively small decrease in the free T4 index compared with a large decrease in T4. Sequential sampling, using three separate methods, showed reduced thyroxine-binding globulin levels. The mechanism for these changes is unknown, but the fact that these patients were essentially euthyroid needs emphasis because the use of combined colestipol and niacin therapy is becoming more widespread.

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