-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
WEDNESDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- For patients taking the
heart rhythm drug amiodarone (Cordarone), generic versions of the
drug do not cause more incidents of thyroid dysfunction than the
brand-name medication, researchers report.
When it comes to thyroid disease, there is no difference between
the two drugs, according to the report released online July 11 in
CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Amiodarone, a drug used to control arrhythmia -- a type of
irregular heartbeat -- is known to cause hypothroidism and
hyperthyroidism. These conditions affect the body's metabolism by
altering the amount of hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Not
enough thyroid hormone causes the body to slow down, resulting in
weight gain, thinning hair and muscle pain. On the flip side, too
much thyroid hormone results in nervousness, weight loss, rapid
heart rate and diarrhea.
In conducting the study, researchers compared 2,804 atrial
fibrillation patients aged 66 or older taking brand-name amiodarone
(Cordarone) with 6,278 patients taking the generic form of the
drug. The study revealed the two groups were equally affected by
"The incidence rate for thyroid dysfunction was estimated at 14.1 per 100 person-years, similar for both formulations," study author Dr. Louise Pilote, of the McGill University Health Center, and colleagues said in a journal news release. "The incidence rates for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism per 100 person-years were comparable between brand-name and generic formulations, with hypothyroidism occurring more commonly than hyperthyroidism."
The study authors pointed out that the findings should provide
doctors and policy makers with critical information regarding the
use of brand-name vs. generic drugs.
The researchers also noted that patients taking amidarone should
be aware of the drug's possible side effects so they can recognize
and report any symptoms.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides more information
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