T3 to boost my antidepressant

I am taking T3 to boost my antidepressant (clomipramine). When reading articles online the dose used is 25 mcg to 50 mcg daily. I consulted an endocrinologist who scared me by saying this doseisway too high and will cause atrial fibrillation. So I have started with 5 mcg and hope it will work.

Anyone else boosting their antidepressant with T3 and what dose are you using?

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16 Replies

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  • Welcome to the forum, Encyclopedia.

    Have you had thyroid blood tests to rule out hypothyroidism?

    If you aren't hypothyroid then 25-50mcg T3 may make you feel very unwell and could indeed cause atrial fibrillation. Endocrinologists are generally averse to euthyroid (normal thyroid levels) patients using thyroid medication even though some psychiatrists have successfully used very high doses of Levothyroxine or Liothyronine (T3) to treat antidepressant refractory depression.

    Members here use T3 to treat their thyroid symptoms and some, including myself, have found that improving FT3 hormone levels improves depression or anxiety.

  • My thyroid tests are normal except for a low T3. It is below the normal range. I don't know if in the UK the same units of measurement are used as here in the USA. My free T3 is 1.98 (normal range 2.3 to 4.2).

    My endocrinologist says my low T3 is not a problem because TSH is normal. But I insisted to try T3 to see if it could help with my depression which isn't responding completely to my antidepressant.

    I would like to hear from people who have used T3 for that purpose and what dosage did they use.

    Thank you so much Clutter for responding so quickly!

  • Encyclopedia,

    Thyroid ranges differ from region to region so it is helpful that you posted the T3 range. Can you post T4 and TSH results and ranges too.

    Your endo is wrong. T3 is the active hormone and when it is low it can make us feel very unwell and depressed. The brain likes T3 which is why we suffer low mood and depression when T3 is deficient.

    I doubt members here use T3 for anything other than thyroid issues.

  • Thank you Clutter, my TSH is 1.7 (range is 0.5 to 5.0) my free T4 is 0.94 (range is 0.82 to 1.74).

    So do you think a T3 dose of 5 mcg is enough in my case to correct my low T3?

    I value your help a lot. The docs seem so clueless.

  • Encyclopedia,

    TSH is low-normal but FT4 is low in range.

    No, 5mcg won't be enough to lift FT3 into range let alone do any good. I think you'll probably need 20mcg. You can split the 20mcg into 2 x 10mcg doses if you've been tolerating 5mcg without adverse effects.

  • Thank you Clutter! For the first time I am feeling hope! Iiwill do as you suggest

  • Do you suggest I measure my free T3 in a couple weeks? I am thinking my goal should be a T3 a bit below the upper number of my normal range, that is below 4.2 and not higher. Is that reasonable?

  • Encyclopedia,

    Ideally FT3 will be in the upper third of range so between 3.5 - 4.2.

    It will take FT3 6-8 weeks after you increase to 20mcg to respond so hold on until then.

  • if hypothyroid is correctly treated there should be no need for anti depressants

    which apparently block and affect the thyroid and the absorption of levothyroxine

  • I have been on my antidepressant for 25 years. It is just recently that I thought to check my free T3. Uptil now I havd been checking the TSH only, and it is always normal.

    To stop my antidepressant would be a dream come true! I don't dare to hope for that!

  • if both your TSH and your free t3 are low the chances are you actually have CENTRAL or TERTIARY HYPOTHYROID its different to the more common primary hypothyroid and all too often jnstead of diagnosing it and resulting symptoms doctors dish out anti depressants

    there has been research on Zoloft causing a decreeased uptake of thyroid medication but more studies are needed

    i know when my husbands symptoms were not relieved by levothyroxine / synthyroid he was put on Seroxat and promptly had even more symptoms and even higher doses of levo, T3 was tried and while that addressed some of the problems it was only when he was switched to NDT that bit by bit all the hypothyroid symptons cleared

    Its well known that many phychiatrists are responsible for diagnosing hypothyroid which other doctors have ignored and that t3 was very effective in those with the depression engendered by hypothyroid

    i understood that Lithium actually triggers hypothyroid

    i need to do a search to see if i can locate the relevant research but often its hidden behind a paywall and not open to the public

  • RFU,

    If the depression is caused by other than hypothyroidism antidepressants will certainly be necessary.

    Do you have anything to substantiate that antidpressants block absorption of Levothyroxine? The study below would suggest otherwise.

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND:

    Several studies with ambiguous results have examined the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on thyroid function. This study aimed to establish the effects of fluoxetine and sertraline treatments on thyroid function and thyroid autoimmunity in patients with major depression and primary hypothyroidism and in patients with major depression and normal thyroid function.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Neither fluoxetine nor sertraline was associated with clinically significant changes in thyroid function or thyroid autoimmunity in either primary hypothyroid or normal thyroid function patients with depression. However, results suggest that patients with normal thyroid function who were treated with fluoxetine are more susceptible to minor changes within the serotoninergic system than patients with hypothyroidism on the same SSRI therapy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the safety of administering SSRIs in hypothyroid patients.

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/195...

  • thank you Clutter for finding that ...i do know that when levo failed to resolve my husbands symptoms seroxat was tried but it worsened the hypo symptoms so he weaned off it

    our daughter was put on anti depressants and she developed more and more hypo symptoms

    both of them have CENTRAL HYPOTHYROID and thus it took a long time to get the diagnosis and my personal view is that maybe it is this group of people who are acutely sensitive to antidepressants affecting thyroid function ...quite how long it will be before such a situation is recognised or researched is another matter

  • Hi Encyclopedia! I have been on an anti-depressant too, since starting synthroid, my doctor added 5 mcg of cytomel, T3, and boy did it ever help! A lot of psychiatrists are adding T3 to AD's, even in people with normal thyroid function, it seems to boost the effect of the AD's. If you google this subject, more info will come up. ( I live in the U.S) I do think 25 or 50 mcgs of cytomel is waaaay to much though, I'd be bouncing off the walls on that dose. Good luck and God Bless!

  • Thanks cobbyp, what were your T3 blood levels before you started cytomel?

  • Update:

    I have been on T3 for 7 weeks now. I have felt perfect evryday except for 4 days. This is very unusual for me. Normally I am depressed for half of the time.

    Looking bak on my lab results (see above), I wonder whether I have central hypothyroidism like really fed up said. Is this possible? In 1992 my problems with depression started after a concussion. Could that have messed up my pituitary? But my TSH is not that low, so I am notsure.

    My depression has always been patchy: some days good, a few days bad, then good again, then bad etc. It's cyclical. Could that have been due to an erratic production of TSH?

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