People’s Pharmacy: Overactive thyroid leads to insomnia | Syndicated Columnists

Q. Three years in the past, I had a number of scans with iodine for diverticulitis. As a consequence, I misplaced weight, couldn’t sleep and developed irregular heartbeats and different indicators of hyperthyroidism.

I went to a thyroid physician, and he discovered antithyroid antibodies. After three years, my scenario has calmed down some, however I nonetheless can’t sleep nicely and produce other signs of extra thyroid. Besides avoiding iodine, what else can I do to deal with my overactive thyroid?

A. Iodine is a standard element of distinction media used for medical photographs equivalent to X-rays and CT scans. Some individuals react to this publicity by creating thyroid issues.

Some frequent signs of hyperthyroidism embrace insomnia, nervousness, tremor, coronary heart palpitations, fast pulse and weight reduction. You can be taught extra about each under- and overactive thyroid in our eGuide to Thyroid Hormones. This on-line useful resource is accessible within the Health eGuide part of

There are 3 ways to deal with hyperthyroidism: surgical procedure, radioactive iodine or thyroid-suppressing medication equivalent to methimazole. Weighing the professionals and cons of every is crucial. You will want a physician you’ll be able to belief to enable you assess which remedy is finest for you.

Q. I used to be recognized with bipolar dysfunction and was instantly placed on Lamictal and Abilify. In the previous two years, I’ve developed tardive dyskinesia.

When the physician recognized it, she upped my dose of Abilify. She didn’t appear involved in any respect, however she advised me tardive dyskinesia is irreversible. She didn’t even give me an opportunity to speak about it.

I’m very offended about this. I used to be by no means advised that Abilify carried a danger of TD. I went on the med as a result of I didn’t know any higher.

I’m fascinated about stopping Abilify by myself. I feel I can reduce the tablets in half after which in half once more and go very slowly. I really feel like I would like to act as my very own advocate on this scenario.

Right now, I’ve twitches in my palms and legs, grimacing and pursing of my mouth and extreme jaw clenching as well as to the tongue rolling in my mouth. Is there something that may assist?

A. Tardive dyskinesia is a devastating consequence of sure psychiatric medicines. Older antipsychotic medication like chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and haloperidol (Haldol) trigger this opposed response in up to 32% of sufferers. Newer medicines like aripiprazole (Abilify) can set off TD in 13%.

The uncontrollable muscle actions you describe are typical of TD and could be devastating. Until lately, there have been no profitable therapies.

Over the previous few years, the Food and Drug Administration permitted two new medicines to deal with this situation: valbenazine (Ingrezza) and deutetrabenazine (Austedo). Clinical trials demonstrated that roughly 50% of TD sufferers who obtained valbenazine skilled enchancment (Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, May 20, 2019). Deutetrabenazine was useful for about half the sufferers with involuntary actions, in contrast with 20% to 30% of these on placebo.

Both valbenazine and deutetrabenazine have negative effects, together with drowsiness, dry mouth, restlessness, headache and fatigue.

Do not cease Abilify by yourself. A really gradual tapering underneath medical supervision could also be required.

(In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon reply letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Fla. 32803, or e mail them by way of their web site:

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