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Valentim Lopes Hospital de Braga, EPE, Portugal

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Catarina Machado Hospital de Braga, EPE, Portugal

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Adriana De Sousa Lages Hospital de Braga, EPE, Portugal
Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

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Summary

We report a case of a woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer who unintentionally started gaining weight, feeling tired, and constipated 44 weeks after the initiation of trastuzumab. Hypothyroidism secondary to an autoimmune thyroiditis associated with trastuzumab was diagnosed, the first case described in Portugal and the fourth case described worldwide. Our intention regarding the publication of this case report is to alert the clinicians treating people with trastuzumab that they should ask the patients about symptoms of hypothyroidism and should screen the thyroid function of the patients before, during, and after the initiation of trastuzumab.

Learning points

  • Trastuzumab is a humanized MAB used in HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer.

  • Trastuzumab-associated autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) is rare (incidence rate in an RCT of 0.3%).

  • Manifestations of autoimmune thyroiditis associated with trastuzumab resemble those of hypothyroidism in other clinical contexts, but the presence of goiter is highlighted as a reason for medical evaluation. Biochemically, it is characterized by an increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) with or without a low FT4/FT3, and sonographically with a pattern of thyroiditis.

  • The treatment consists of levothyroxine, in a dose of 1.6–1.8 µg/kg/day, with re-evaluation of the thyroid function in 4–6 weeks.

  • We report the first case of autoimmune thyroiditis secondary to trastuzumab in Portugal.

  • It is important to evaluate the thyroid function before, during, and after the initiation of this therapeutic agent.

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Norio Wada Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Arina Miyoshi Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Shuhei Baba Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Hajime Sugawara Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Shinji Obara Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Summary

A 40-year-old Japanese woman presented to the outpatient clinic with fever and palpitations 2 days after receiving the influenza vaccine (Influenza HA Vaccine ‘KMB’®) following the second dose of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine (COVID-19 vaccine Moderna intramuscular injection®). At the first visit, the patient presented with a swollen thyroid gland with mild tenderness, and she was diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis (SAT) based on the presence of thyrotoxicosis (free T3: 5.42 pg/mL; free T4: 2.34 ng/dL; and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): <0.01 μIU/mL), a high C-reactive protein level (5.77 mg/dL), a negative TSH receptor antibody, and characteristic ultrasound findings. The patient’s human leukocyte antigen types were A2, A11, B35, B51, DR4, and DR1403. Prednisolone (15 mg/day) was given as an initial dose, after which the fever subsided, and the dose was tapered and discontinued after 6 weeks. The patient was thought to have developed SAT due to influenza vaccination. SAT after influenza vaccination may be overlooked. For patients with SAT, it is necessary to obtain information regarding their vaccination history.

Learning points

  • After influenza vaccination, subacute thyroiditis (SAT) may develop.

  • If persistent fever, anterior neck pain, swelling, tenderness of the thyroid gland, and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis are observed immediately after vaccination for several viruses, including influenza, an examination to rule out the onset of SAT is recommended.

  • Human leukocyte antigen type A2 (HLA-A2) and HLA-B35 may be linked to the development of SAT following influenza vaccination.

  • The two doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine given before the influenza vaccine may affect the onset of SAT.

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Melanie Scheive Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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Neha Patel Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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Zeb Saeed Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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Summary

Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) is a rare complication of hyperthyroidism triggered by precipitants that increase the activity of the sodium-potassium pump in the skeletal muscle. In our case study, a previously healthy 34-year-old male presented to the emergency department with new onset thyrotoxicosis, secondary to Graves’ disease. Given the severity of his triiodothyronine (T3) thyrotoxicosis, he was admitted and started on a high dose of beta-blocker, thioamides, and intravenous hydrocortisone. On the second day of his hospitalization, he developed acute flaccid paralysis of his lower extremities. Subsequent stroke workup was negative, and his electrolytes revealed severe hypokalemia and hyperglycemia consistent with TPP. He was treated with potassium and had a complete recovery of his paralysis and hypokalemia within hours. The patient has not had any recurrence since this singular episode in the hospital. This case highlights the scenario where the treatment of hyperthyroidism with high-dose corticosteroids to reduce the conversion of thyroxine to T3 inadvertently resulted in TPP. Clinicians should be aware of this potentially rare but serious consequence of using steroids to manage hyperthyroidism.

Learning points

  • High-dose steroids used to treat hyperthyroidism in hospitalized patients may rarely precipitate thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) by inducing hypokalemia and hyperglycemia.

  • TPP should be included in the differential diagnosis for acute flaccid paralysis in hospitalized patients with hyperthyroidism.

  • Since TPP is associated with trans-cellular shifts in potassium instead of total body potassium depletion, conservative repletion of potassium is recommended to avoid rebound hyperkalemia.

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Caoimhe Casey University Hospital Kerry, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland

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Tom Higgins University Hospital Kerry, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland

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Summary

Subacute thyroiditis is an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid gland that has previously been described following viral illnesses and occasionally post vaccination such as influenza vaccine. 2021 was a revolutionary year for the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations with multiple different vaccines now available. There are increasing numbers of case reports of thyroiditis following these vaccinations. We report a case of a 50-year-old female who developed subacute thyroiditis 6 days post ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222 produced by AstraZeneca Vaxzevria). The initial thyrotoxic phase was followed by overt hypothyroidism. This resolved spontaneously within 5 months without levothyroxine replacement. We hope that our case will add to the growing literature of cases of thyroiditis occurring after multiple different types of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and create awareness of this rare but treatable adverse effect. We also review the literature on the proposed mechanisms behind this adverse effect.

Learning points

  • Subacute thyroiditis is an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid gland that can occur after a viral illness or vaccination against certain infections.

  • Subacute thyroiditis is a rare adverse effect that has been reported to occur after different types of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations.

  • Subacute thyroiditis post vaccination is relatively straightforward to manage, with some patients requiring non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers, while more severe cases may require corticosteroid therapy. This adverse effect should not dissuade vaccination use at a population level.

  • There are many postulated mechanisms for the development of subacute thyroiditis following vaccination including the presence of the ACE-2 receptor for SARS-CoV-2 on the thyroid gland, an inflammatory/immune response as is seen in COVID-19 infection itself and molecular mimicry between SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and healthy thyroid antigen.

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Sophie Bondje Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Camilla Barnes Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Felicity Kaplan Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Summary

Milk–alkali syndrome (MAS) is a triad of hypercalcaemia, metabolic alkalosis and renal insufficiency. In this study, we present a case of milk–alkali syndrome secondary to concurrent use of over-the-counter (OTC) calcium carbonate-containing antacid tablets (Rennie®) for dyspepsia and calcium carbonate with vitamin D3 (Adcal D3) for osteoporosis. A 72-year-old woman presented with a 2-day history of nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, constipation, lethargy and mild delirium. Past medical history included osteoporosis treated with daily Adcal D3. Initial blood tests showed elevated serum-adjusted calcium of 3.77 mmol/L (normal range, 2.2–2.6) and creatinine of 292 µmol/L (45–84) from a baseline of 84. This was corrected with i.v. pamidronate and i.v. fluids. She developed asymptomatic hypocalcaemia and rebound hyperparathyroidism. Myeloma screen, vasculitis screen and serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) were normal, while the CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis showed renal stones but no malignancy. A bone marrow biopsy showed no evidence of malignancy. Once the delirium resolved, we established that prior to admission, she had been excessively self-medicating with over-the-counter antacids (Rennie®) as required for epigastric pain. The increasing use of calcium preparations for the management of osteoporosis in addition to easily available OTC dyspepsia preparations has made MAS the third most common cause of hypercalcaemia hospitalisations. Educating patients and healthcare professionals on the risks associated with these seemingly safe medications is required. Appropriate warning labels on both calcium preparations used in the management of osteoporosis and OTC calcium-containing preparations would prevent further similar cases and unnecessary morbidity and hospital admission.

Learning points

What is known?

  • An association between high-dose calcium supplementation and hypercalcaemia crisis has been seen in case studies.

  • After as little as 1 week of excessive calcium carbonate ingestion, patients can present with symptomatic hypercalcemia, acute renal failure and metabolic alkalosis ().

  • Women aged 50 and younger need 1 g of calcium per day, while aged 51 and older need 1.2 g ().

  • Although the amount of calcium required for MAS is generally thought to be more than 4 g per day, there have been reports at intakes as low as 1.0–1.5 g per day in pre-existing risk factors including renal impairment ().

What this study adds?

  • The danger of excessive ingestion of antacid is not adequately highlighted to prescribers and patients.

  • Appropriate warning labels on OTC calcium-containing preparations could prevent unnecessary morbidity and hospital admission.

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Mone Murashita Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Norio Wada Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Shuhei Baba Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Hajime Sugawara Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Arina Miyoshi Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Shinji Obara Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

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Summary

We report a 26-year-old Japanese man who visited our outpatient clinic presenting fever immediately after i.m. injection of the second dose of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine (Moderna®). At the first visit, the patient had a fever of 37.7°C and a swollen thyroid gland with mild tenderness. He was diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis (SAT) based on the presence of thyrotoxicosis (free tri-iodothyronine, 32.3 pg/mL; free thyroxine, >7.77 ng/dL; and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) < 0.01 μIU/mL), high C-reactive protein level (7.40 mg/dL), negative TSH receptor antibody, and characteristic ultrasound findings. His HLA types were A*02:01/24:02, B*15:11/35:01, Cw*03:03, DRB1*09:01/12:01, DQB1*03:03, and DPB1*05: 01/41:01. He was initially administered prednisolone 15 mg/day, following which the fever subsided. After 10 days, he developed limb weakness and could not walk. The serum potassium level decreased to 1.8 mEq/L, which confirmed the diagnosis of thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP). Potassium supplementation was initiated. The muscle weakness gradually decreased. Prednisolone therapy was terminated 6 weeks after the first visit. His thyroid function returned to normal 5 months after the first visit, through a hypothyroid state. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of TPP-associated SAT following COVID-19 vaccination. Persistent fever following vaccination should be suspected of SAT. Additionally, TPP may be associated with SAT in Asian male patients.

Learning points

  • Following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination, subacute thyroiditis may develop regardless of the vaccine type.

  • If persistent fever, anterior neck pain, swelling and tenderness of thyroid gland, and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis are observed immediately after the COVID-19 vaccination, examination in consideration of the onset of subacute thyroiditis is recommended.

  • HLA-B35 may be associated with the onset of subacute thyroiditis after the COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Although rare, subacute thyroiditis can be associated with thyrotoxic periodic paralysis, especially in Asian men.

  • Glucocorticoid therapy for subacute thyroiditis may induce thyrotoxic periodic paralysis through hypokalemia.

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Clara Cunha Department of Endocrinology Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

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Eugénia Silva Department of Endocrinology Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

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Ana Cláudia Vieira Department of Pneumology, Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

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Catarina Saraiva Department of Endocrinology Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

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Sequeira Duarte Department of Endocrinology Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

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Summary

Immunotherapy has become an important pillar for the management of advanced cancer. Immune-related adverse events including endocrinopathies have been well described with programmed cell death 1 inhibitors such as pembrolizumab. While thyroid dysfunction is the most common endocrinopathy associated with pembrolizumab, new-onset autoimmune diabetes mellitus (DM) is extremely rare. The authors report a case of pembrolizumab-induced primary hypothyroidism and type 1 diabetes mellitus presenting with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). A 59-year-old female patient was treated with pembrolizumab for a stage 4 lung adenocarcinoma. She presented to the emergency department with hyperglycaemia-related signs and symptoms, such as polyuria, polydipsia, weight loss, vomiting, asthenia and dehydration, 3 weeks after her first dose of pembrolizumab. Laboratory evaluation revealed hyperglycaemia, hyperketonaemia and high anion gap metabolic acidaemia consistent with DKA. After prompt and adequate treatment of DKA, she transitioned to s.c. basal-bolus insulin. The diagnose of autoimmune DM was established based on the undetectable C-peptide levels and seropositivity for antiglutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies. Additional hormonal parameters revealed overt hypothyroidism and levothyroxine therapy was initiated. This case highlights the importance of blood glucose and thyroid function monitoring as an integral part of cancer treatment protocols for pembrolizumab and other immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Learning points

  • Programmed cell death 1 (PD1) inhibitors such as pembrolizumab can cause endocrine immune-related adverse events (irAE), including thyroid dysfunction and type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

  • Thyroid dysfunction is the most frequent endocrine irAE secondary to PD1 inhibitors.

  • Autoimmune diabetes and possible resultant diabetic ketoacidosis are rare, but life-threatening adverse events associated with pembrolizumab.

  • Pembrolizumab-induced T1DM often present with relatively low HbAlc levels, reflecting the fulminant onset of β-cell destruction.

  • Patients treated with pembrolizumab and other immune checkpoints inhibitors should be monitored regularly for hyperglycaemia and thyroid dysfunction.

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Farooq Khan Department of Endocrinology, Tipperary University Hospital, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland

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Mary Jane Brassill Department of Endocrinology, Tipperary University Hospital, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland

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Summary

There is emerging evidence of an association between COVID-19 vaccination and subacute thyroiditis. We present the case of a 42-year-old female healthcare worker who was diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis 4 days after receiving her second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Her clinical course followed the classical pattern for thyroiditis with spontaneous return to euthyroidism at 6 months post-presentation. The autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants has been implicated as a cause of autoimmune conditions post-vaccination and is a potential mechanism for subacute thyroiditis in our case.

Learning points

  • Subacute thyroiditis should be considered in all patients who receive any kind of vaccine for COVID-19 and subsequently develop symptoms or signs of hyperthyroidism or neck pain.

  • Subacute thyroiditis is a self-limiting condition, and recognising it is important as no specific thyroid treatment (antithyroid drugs or thyroid hormone replacement) is necessary for most patients.

  • The autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants may be an under-recognised cause of endocrinopathies and should particularly be considered post-vaccination.

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S Ludgate Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Dublin, Ireland

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S P Connolly Department of Infectious Diseases, Dublin, Ireland

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D Fennell Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Dublin, Ireland

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M F Muhamad Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Dublin, Ireland

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I Welaratne Department of Radiology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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A Cotter Department of Infectious Diseases, Dublin, Ireland
School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

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S E McQuaid Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Dublin, Ireland
School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

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Summary

Both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) are associated with endocrine dysfunction (1). The term 'immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome' (IRIS) describes an array of inflammatory conditions that occur during the return of cell-mediated immunity following ART. Graves’ disease (GD) occurs rarely as an IRIS following ART. In this study, we describe the case of a 40-year-old Brazilian female who was diagnosed with HIV following admission with cryptococcal meningitis and salmonellosis. At this time, she was also diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency. Her CD4 count at diagnosis was 17 cells/µL which rose to 256 cells/µL over the first 3 months of ART. Her HIV viral load, however, consistently remained detectable. When viral suppression was finally achieved 21 months post diagnosis, an incremental CD4 count of 407 cells/µL over the following 6 months ensued. Subsequently, she was diagnosed with a late IRIS to cryptococcus 32 months following initial ART treatment, which manifested as non-resolving lymphadenitis and resolved with high-dose steroids. Following the initiation of ART for 45 months, she developed symptomatic Graves’ hyperthyroidism. At this time, her CD4 count had risen to 941 cells/µL. She has been rendered euthyroid on carbimazole. This case serves to remind us that GD can occur as an IRIS post ART and typically has a delayed presentation.

Learning points

  • Endocrinologists should be aware of the endocrine manifestations of HIV disease, in particular, thyroid pathology.

  • Endocrinologists should be aware that IRIS can occur following the initiation of ART.

  • Thyroid dysfunction can occur post ART of which Graves' disease (GD) is the most common thyroid manifestation.

  • GD as a manifestation of ART-induced IRIS can have a delayed presentation.

  • Infectious disease physicians should be aware of endocrine manifestations associated with HIV and ART.

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Niamh O’Donnell Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Aisling McCarthy Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Ken Thong Department of Endocrinology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

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Summary

Carbimazole is a commonly used antithyroid drug (ATD), which is associated with several well-established side effects. However, Carbimazole-induced rhabdomyolysis is rarely reported in the literature. We report a 27-year-old male who presented with upper limb myalgia and significantly raised creatine kinase elevation, 1-month post commencement of Carbimazole for Graves’ disease. Carbimazole was ceased with subsequent clinical and biochemical improvement. Though the pathophysiology remains unclear, we hope to raise awareness regarding this rare adverse effect with a view to promote early recognition and prompt discontinuation of the offending medication caused by a commonly used medication in endocrinology.

Learning points

  • Musculoskeletal complaints can relate to unidentified and untreated hyperthyroidism. However one must be mindful that the treatment for these disorders can too induce myopathies.

  • ATD-induced myopathy should be considered when there is a temporal relationship between introduction of ATDs and the onset of symptoms.

  • If ATD-induced myopathy is being considered, other causes of myopathy should still be outruled.

  • Prompt discontinuation of potentially offending medications may provide resolution of symptoms and avoid significant consequences.

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