Comparative effectiveness of dextrothyroxine and levothyroxine in correcting hypothyroidism and lowering blood lipid levels in hypothyroid patients

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1979 Jul;49(1):1-7. doi: 10.1210/jcem-49-1-1.


Data reported here establish that treatment regimens of 4 mg dextrothyroxine and 0.15 mg levothyroxine in hypothyroid subjects produce similar degrees of lowering of serum TSH, cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipid levels and equal stimulation of metabolic rate. The Murphy-Pattee total T4 determination applied to blood samples drawn 24 h after the last dose of dextrothyroxine can be used to assess adequacy of treatment. Correction of hypothyroidism requires high serum levels of dextrothyroxine than of levothyroxine. Serum T3 levels increase in patients treated with dextrothyroxine. In the treatment of hypothyroidism, the cholesterol-lowering and metabolic rate-stimulating effects of dextrothyroxine do not appear to be dissociated. Further studies are needed to determine whether such an effect can be demonstrated in euthyroid hypercholesterolemic subjects with doses established herein as equivalent in terms of the stimulating effect on metabolic rate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Basal Metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Hypothyroidism / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / blood*
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use*
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Phospholipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Thyrotropin
  • Cholesterol
  • Thyroxine