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Case Reports in Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 169194, 3 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/169194
Case Report

Weekly Intramuscular Injection of Levothyroxine following Myxoedema: A Practical Solution to an Old Crisis

1Endocrinology and Diabetes Department, Prince Charles Hospital, Cwm Taf University Health Board, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9DT, UK
2Thyroid Research Group, Institute of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff CF144XN, UK
3Biochemistry Department, Prince Charles Hospital, Cwm Taf University Health Board, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9DT, UK
4Department of Medicine of the Elderly, Prince Charles Hospital, Cwm Taf University Health Board, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9DT, UK
5Pharmacy, Prince Charles Hospital, Cwm Taf University Health Board, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9DT, UK

Received 11 August 2015; Revised 11 October 2015; Accepted 20 October 2015

Academic Editor: Suat Simsek

Copyright © 2015 Peter N. Taylor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

An 82-year-old female with known hypothyroidism was admitted to hospital after being found on the floor. On examination, she was unkempt, confused, bradycardic, hypothermic, and barely arousable. Initial biochemistry revealed a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) of >100 mU/L and free thyroxine (FT4) level of 1.5 pmol/L which supported a diagnosis of myxoedema coma. She was resuscitated and commenced on liothyronine, levothyroxine, and hydrocortisone and some improvement was made. It became apparent that she was hiding and spitting out her oral levothyroxine including levothyroxine elixir. Given the need for prompt alternative control, we sought advice from international experts where intramuscular levothyroxine was recommended. She was managed from day 50 onwards with intramuscular levothyroxine 200 mcg once a week, which was subsequently increased to 500 mcg. Thyroid function normalized and she made continual cognitive and physical progress and was discharged to a rehabilitation hospital. Her intramuscular levothyroxine was stopped and she was subsequently restarted on oral levothyroxine, with a plan for on-going close monitoring of her thyroid function. This report highlights the potential to use intramuscular levothyroxine in individuals with severe hypothyroidism arising from poor compliance with levothyroxine treatment or other potential causes such as impaired absorption.