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Rhabdomyolysis in the setting of induced hypothyroidism and statin therapy: a case report

Anyone need ammunition for refusing statins whilst hypothyroid?

Eur Thyroid J. 2015 Mar;4(1):62-4. doi: 10.1159/000371548. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Rhabdomyolysis in the setting of induced hypothyroidism and statin therapy: a case report.

Jbara Y1, Bricker D1.

Author information


Mild elevation of creatine kinase (CK) is common in untreated hypothyroidism, but severe myositis and overt rhabdomyolysis are rare. Similarly, muscle pain and CK elevation are potential side effects of statin therapy, yet rhabdomyolysis is likewise rare in the absence of medication interactions adversely affecting statin metabolism. The coexistence of statin therapy and hypothyroid states may synergistically increase the risk of myopathy. We describe a case of rhabdomyolysis attributable to induced hypothyroidism in a patient on chronic statin medication who was anticipating adjuvant radioiodine ((131)I) therapy for a thyroid carcinoma.


Induced hypothyroidism; Recombinant human thyrotropin; Rhabdomyolysis; Statin therapy




7 Replies

Thanks for this. Many are prescribed, as we know, statins due to their higher cholesterol level which should reduce on an optimum of thyroid hormones.


Thanks for posting, Helvella. The article confirms my determination to refuse statins should they be profferred.


I read an article by Dr Mercola that statins are helpful to only 5% of those taking them...everyone else is just exposing themselves to these kind of dangerous side effects.


"Exclude any secondary causes of hypercholesterolaemia (eg, hypothyroidism) or, if present, ensure maximally treated before commencing specific lipid-lowering therapy."


Every doctor I have seen over the years has 'advised' me to take statins which I ALWAYS refused to do. My argument was that my underactive thyroid was one of the reasons my cholesterol was high and once I was taking T3 - sure enough - my cholesterol reading was lower.


Thanks Helvella,

I'm so glad I stopped taking my statins medication prior to my surgery 4 weeks ago (TT) and after educating myself on the negative impact of statins on our body. I have been taking statins medication for the last 8 years; 3 different high blood medication and now 150 mcg Levothyroxine.

My doctor want me to start taking statins again even though my cholesterol level for many year has been boarderline and blood pressure is now 122/85.

I did ask for a cholesterol test, he refuse saying I have to start on my statins tablets before he could request for the test.

I will be having my 6 weeks blood test done next week but he has refuse to include FT3, he said he can only do it if my Endocrinology request it and my appointment with endoc. is not until end of July.


So tell him you've been taking them and get a test. If you are hypo you get free prescriptions so it won't cost you - if he even checks whether the prescription has been filled.


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