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Intramuscular levothyroxine: a solution to a mental health related thyroid crisis
  1. Kate Laycock1,
  2. Chloe Beale2,
  3. Catherine Peters3 and
  4. John Anderson1
  1. 1 Diabetes and Endocrinology, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Psychiatry, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3 Intensive Care, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kate Laycock, kate_laycock{at}


A 53-year-old woman was admitted with thyroid storm and severe behavioural problems. She had longstanding bipolar affective disorder. She was psychotic and obstructed in-patient medical management for thyroid storm. She required one-to-one psychiatric nursing and was placed under section 3 of the Mental Health Act meaning she could be detained in hospital for psychiatric treatment for up to 6 months. She underwent a total thyroidectomy. Due to her paranoid mental state, she refused treatment and the administration of thyroid hormone replacement was difficult. Postoperatively, intramuscular levothyroxine was used effectively to stabilise her thyroid function. There are no consensus guidelines on the use of parenteral levothyroxine and intramuscular levothyroxine is rarely used. This case uniquely illustrates its utility with bi-weekly blood tests showing a fast and stable response to intramuscular hormone replacement.

  • endocrinology
  • thyroid disease
  • psychiatry (drugs and medicines)
  • drugs: endocrine system
  • psychotic disorders (incl schizophrenia)

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  • Contributors KL wrote this article. JA, CB and CP were the consultants responsible for the care of this patient and provided feedback on drafts of this article.

  • 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.

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

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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