Lévothyrox : no link proved between the 14 deaths and the drug for the moment

Health 6 December, 2017


Published the 06.12.2017 at 15h56


Keywords :

Lévothyroxeffets indésirablesnouvelle formula

They have been named ” the dead of the Lévothyrox “. They would be “hidden” by the French authorities “. But this is probably a little fast. Last week, the team of the future magazine Ebdo, the first issue should appear in January, announced on social networks that 13 people have died since last march. That is to say, since the change of formula of the drug, which makes controversy.

14 deaths out of nearly 3 million patients

To do this, journalists rely on the national basis of pharmacovigilance, which lists the side effects of the Lévothyrox. In the aftermath, the national security Agency of the drug (MSNA) confirmed the information on Twitter. And accurate: “14 842 cases have been entered into the national pharmacovigilance including 14 deaths”. One more.
Nearly 3 million people take the Lévothyrox in France (1st world market) for an underactive thyroid, or to restrain a goiter or a thyroid nodule.

No link established. The absence of a link no more

But the MAN adds that there is no link between these deaths and the Lévothyrox. In fact, the journalists of Ebdo say also a little further away, in their paper. “Of course, for each of them, the cause and effect relationship between taking the medication and the deaths has not been established. But the absence of a link is not established ! “. So suspicion.
At the beginning of the month of October last, the MAN had yet made public the investigation reports of four deaths, nearly 3 million patients treated. Among them, it was “plausible” that a single could have a link with the change of formula of the drug.

The cause of death can be multiple

On Tuesday, the minister of health, Agnes Buzyn sinks the nail on BFMTV. She recalls that the people who died were mostly very elderly, with multiple pathologies. And that took several treatments.
It then becomes difficult to determine if the Lévothyrox is the only one responsible for the death of these patients. An analysis is in progress. The results are expected in the month of January.

The old formula, too unstable

More than 2.7 million French would currently Lévothyrox, because of thyroid problems. In 2012, the MAN had asked the laboratory that manufactures the treatment, Merck, to change the formula to bring it to international standards. Because the former is unstable : the active principle of the drug is deteriorating all alone in the course of time.
It’s something made in march last. Except that some people complain that they have not been made aware of this change in formula and feel side effects extremely painful since. The health authorities are trying to find alternatives.

Today, five alternative medications are available, or soon to be : 200 000 boxes of the old formula will be available the 15 of December, depending on the laboratory.