Efficacy of combined levothyroxine and liothyronine as compared with levothyroxine monotherapy in primary hypothyroidism: a randomized controlled trial

Endocr Res. 2009;34(3):80-9. doi: 10.1080/07435800903156340.


Objectives: To examine the efficacy of combination therapy with levothyroxine and liothyronine in improvement of general health, psychological problems, and metabolic status in primary hypothyroidism.

Methods: Seventy-one patients diagnosed with primary hypothyroidism were randomly allocated into two study groups: the first group received usual dose of levothyroxine and the second group received combination of levothyroxine and liothyronine for at least 4 months. The main outcomes were psychosocial problems (Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire, GHQ-28), bodyweight, heart rate, blood pressure, and serum lipid levels.

Results: In both groups serum thyroid-stimulating hormone levels remained unchanged compared with baseline. Psychosocial scores, body weight, heart rate, blood pressure, and lipid profile in the two groups remained constant. The only exception was a small but significant reduction in anxiety/insomnia in combined treatment group as compared with monotherapy.

Conclusions: The data do not support the hypothesis that combined therapy improves the well-being and general health of patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Hypothyroidism / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thyroxine / administration & dosage
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triiodothyronine / administration & dosage
  • Triiodothyronine / therapeutic use*


  • Triiodothyronine
  • Thyroxine