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Use of liothyronine (L-T3) as an augmentation therapy for depression during pregnancy
  1. Vishal S Bhella1 and
  2. Divya Garg2
  1. 1 Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2 Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Divya Garg, dgarg{at}


The thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) can be used as an augmentation therapy for depression. This case involves a patient who had been initiated on liothyronine (L-T3) for this purpose and subsequently became pregnant. The exogenous T3 affected maternal thyroid hormone production, including suppression of her thyroxine (T4) levels. In pregnancy, maternal T4 is important for fetal neurodevelopment. Accordingly, use of exogenous T3 for adjunct treatment of depression in pregnant patients or those planning pregnancy requires careful laboratory monitoring of thyroid function tests. In this case, L-T3 was discontinued and the patient was eventually started on levothyroxine (L-T4) and went on to have an uneventful pregnancy.

  • depressive disorder
  • pregnancy
  • thyroid disease
  • general practice / family medicine

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  • Contributors Both authors have contributed to the conception and design of this case report, researching background material as well as writing and editing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.