Thyroid UK
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Panic attacks related to overmedication

An interesting section in the WHO newsletter about panic attacks and levothyroxine over medication, pointing out that this is not listed as a side effect in the patient information leaflet so that doctors and patients may not attribute their symptoms to overmedication and may not receive a timely diagnosis and dose adjustment as a result. (Starting on page 25 of the report and in particular the conclusion)

Apologies if this has already been posted.

6 Replies

Nanaedake thank you for posting. Very useful information.

1 like

Really interesting - thank you for posting.

Certainly resonates with me feel overmedicated and feel anxiety is mediated physiologically not psychologically.


The WHO document references a Kikuchi paper

... by Kikuchi et al, which found significant correlation between thyroid hormone levels and the severity of anxiety or panic attacks in non-medicated patients with panic disorder.

Which, at a quick glance, seems to suggest that higher thyroid hormone levels are associated with severity of panic attacks. But the abstract to the paper itself (see below) says it is a negative correlation - high TSH/low T4 (who cares about T3?) with more severe panic attacks.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Jan;29(1):77-81.

Relationship between anxiety and thyroid function in patients with panic disorder.

Kikuchi M1, Komuro R, Oka H, Kidani T, Hanaoka A, Koshino Y.

Author information

1 Department of Psychiatry and Neurobiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa 920-8641, Japan.


The aim of this study was to investigate correlations between thyroid function and severity of anxiety or panic attacks in patients with panic disorder. The authors examined 66 out-patients with panic disorder (medicated, n=41; non-medicated, n=25), and measured their free thriiodothyronine (T3), free thyroxine (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Significant correlations between the thyroid hormone levels and clinical features were observed in the non-medicated patients. The more severe current panic attacks were, the higher the TSH levels were. In addition, severity of anxiety correlated negatively with free T4 levels. In this study, we discuss relationship between thyroid function and the clinical severity or features of panic disorder.

PMID: 15610948

DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2004.10.008


Yes that certainly looks like high TSH, low FT4 = severe panic attack and possibly = undermedication, not over.


Very interesting. So when the doc tells a patient they have an generalised anxiety condition causing panic attacks, it might be the meds they're prescribing instead so they should be looking for the cause in the meds they prescribe and doing something about it rather than blaming the patient's psychological state. Well, well, well...

And untreated patients might have a thyroid disorder??


Under medicated and or undiagnosed Hashimoto's is very likely to cause anxiety and panic

They never seem to consider hypo causing this


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