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Thyrogen Treatment

Thyrogen rh TSH (Man Made Recombinant Human Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)

Following initial treatment for thyroid cancer (surgery), patients are then given Radioactive Iodine Ablation Treatment. Generally a high thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level is required in both treatment and follow-up of thyroid cancer. Traditionally patients reduced and then ceased their dose of thyroxine (Oroxine/Eutroxsig) before this treatment. An alternate approach to stopping thyroxine therapy is to give the patient Thyrogen. Patients, with their doctors, can now decide if they would prefer to stay on their dose of thyroxine (Oroxine/Eutroxsig) during this treatment, by receiving Thyrogen (Recombinant Thyroid Stimulating Hormone).

It can also be determined by the treating doctor, if the patient can also receive Thyrogen before follow up scanning to determine if the patient has been successfully treated, or before any additional RAI Treatments. Before Thyrogen was available, approximately two months before a whole-body scan, (MRI) and a thyroglobulin (Tg) test, the patient began reducing their dose of thyroxine. The patient then ceased the dose before scanning. This process makes the patient hypothyroid, which can cause great discomfort.

Stopping thyroxine replacement makes you hypothyroid which can result in a number of symptoms including feeling tired and sluggish, difficulty concentrating, inability to work or drive a motor vehicle and weight gain. Some patients may suffer severe, incapacitating psychological disorders. These symptoms may range from minor to severe and may last for three to six weeks or more. It may take a month or two to recover after thyroxine therapy has been recommenced.

The availability of rhTSH (Thyrogen) allows you to stay on your thyroxine (T4) medication and consequently avoid all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Thyrogen imitates TSH made by your body and makes sure that there is enough TSH in the body for treatment and follow up tests. The use of Thyrogen has become a safe and effective alternative to thyroxine (T4) withdrawal and enables patients to continue feeling ‘normal’ during treatment and periodic monitoring. There are a few possible side effects from the administration of Thyrogen, including nausea and headache, which should also be considered.

Thyrogen is reimbursed for both remnant ablation treatment and follow up, however restrictions apply. It is important to discuss with your treating doctor to see if you qualify. Generally a high thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level is required in both treatment and follow-up of thyroid cancer. This has traditionally been achieved through temporarily stopping your thyroxine (T4) replacement therapy for several weeks prior to treatment.

Stopping your thyroxine replacement makes you hypothyroid which can result in a number of symptoms including feeling tired and sluggish, difficulty concentrating, inability to work or drive a motor vehicle and weight gain.  Some patients may suffer severe, incapacitating psychological disorders.  These symptoms may range from minor to severe and may last for three to six weeks or more.  It may take a month or two to recover after thyroxine therapy has been recommenced.

The availability of rhTSH (Thyrogen®) allows you stay on your thyroxine (T4) medication and consequently avoid all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Thyrogen® imitates TSH made by your body and makes sure that there is enough TSH in your body for treatment and follow-up tests. The use of Thyrogen has become a safe and effective alternative to thyroxine (T4) withdrawal and enables you to continue feeling ‘normal’ during treatment and periodic monitoring. There are a few possible side effects from the administration of Thyrogen®, including nausea and headache, which should also be considered.
Thyrogen is reimbursed for both remnant ablation treatment and follow-up, however restrictions apply. It is important to discuss with your doctor to see if you qualify.

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