Association between mood stabilizers and hypothyroidism in patients with bipolar disorders: a nested, matched case-control study

Authors


Corresponding author:
Susan Shur-Fen Gau, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry
National Taiwan University Hospital
No. 7, Chung-Shan South Road
Taipei 10002, Taiwan
Fax: +886-2-23812408
E-mail: gaushufe@ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

Gau C-S, Chang C-J, Tsai F-J, Chao P-F, Gau SS-F. Association between mood stabilizers and hypothyroidism in patients with bipolar disorders: a nested, matched case-control study.
Bipolar Disord 2010: 12: 253–263. © 2010 The Authors.
Journal compilation © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Objectives:  This study investigated whether lithium, carbamazepine, and valproate increased the risk for hypothyroidism using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Dataset.

Methods:  The sample included 557 bipolar disorder patients with incident hypothyroidism first diagnosed between 1998 and 2004, and 2,228 sex-, age-, and index date-matched bipolar disorder patients without hypothyroidism from 1996–2004. We compared the use of lithium, carbamazepine, and valproate before the onset of hypothyroidism between the two groups using a conditional logistical regression model.

Results:  Compared with patients who had never used any of the three mood stabilizers, patients were more likely to have hypothyroidism if they only used carbamazepine [odds ratio (OR) = 1.68; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07–2.65]; or comedication of lithium and valproate (OR = 2.40; 95% CI: 1.70–3.40), lithium and carbamazepine (OR = 1.52; 95% CI: 1.10–2.08), and three mood stabilizers (OR = 2.34; 95% CI: 1.68–3.25). There was a dose-response relationship between the number of mood stabilizers and risk for hypothyroidism (OR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.21–1.49) and a significant interaction between lithium and valproate on the risk for hypothyroidism (p = 0.020).

Conclusions:  Our findings indicate that lithium, carbamazepine, and valproate may increase the risk for hypothyroidism, particularly if combined, and suggest regular monitoring of thyroid function and monotherapy of mood stabilizers for treating patients with bipolar disorders.

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