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Thyrotropin Alfa


Updated February 07, 2006

Thyrotropin Alfa
Question: Thyrotropin Alfa
Thyrotropin alfa is the generic name for the brand name drug Thyrogen, also known as recombinant TSH. Given by injection, the drug is used with thyroid cancer patients preparing to have a scan to assess recurrence or spread. Usually, thyroid hormone drugs are withdrawn to improve the accuracy of scans, resulting in several weeks to months of hypothyroidism, with side effects such as severe fatigue, weight gain, depression, and more.
Answer: Thyrogen can prevent the symptoms of hypothyroidism in some patients. A scan using Thyrogen is considered slightly less sensitive than a scan on total withdrawal of all thyroid hormone replacement, and so Thyrogen scans are often recommended for long-term survivors, and those who have had a few years of negative tests under conventional hormone withdrawal.

Thy-roe-troe-pin al-fuh

Brand name in the U.S:


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Last Updated: February 2006.

Mary Shomon, About.com's Thyroid Guide since 1997, is a nationally-known patient advocate and best-selling author of 10 books on health, including "The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss," "Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know," "Living Well With Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism," "Living Well With Autoimmune Disease," "Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia," and the "Thyroid Guide to Fertility, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Success." Click here for more information on Mary Shomon.

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