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Thyrotropin alfa

Generic Name: thyrotropin alfa (THYE-roe-TROE-pin AL-fa)
Brand Name: Thyrogen

Thyrotropin alfa is used for:

Performing certain tests in patients who have or have had thyroid cancer. It is also used along with a radioactive agent to destroy remaining thyroid tissue in certain patients who have had their thyroid gland removed because of thyroid cancer.

Thyrotropin alfa is a recombinant form of human thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). It works by binding to TSH receptors on normal thyroid cells or on thyroid cancer tissue. This helps to determine if there are any thyroid cells or thyroid cancer cells remaining.

Do NOT use thyrotropin alfa if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in thyrotropin alfa

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using thyrotropin alfa:

Some medical conditions may interact with thyrotropin alfa. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, especially bovine TSH; foods; or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems or you are on dialysis
  • if you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, thyroid problems other than thyroid cancer, or migraine headaches
  • if you have recently had or will be having surgery
  • if you have had your thyroid removed and some thyroid tissue remains in your body
  • if your thyroid cancer has spread to other parts of your body (especially the brain or spinal cord)
  • if you smoke
  • if you have previously been treated with a different type of TSH (bovine TSH)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with thyrotropin alfa. However, no specific interactions with thyrotropin alfa are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if thyrotropin alfa may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use thyrotropin alfa:

Use thyrotropin alfa as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Thyrotropin alfa is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using thyrotropin alfa at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use thyrotropin alfa. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Thyrotropin alfa is for injection into the muscle only, preferably the buttocks. It is not to be injected into the vein.
  • Do not use thyrotropin alfa if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of thyrotropin alfa, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use thyrotropin alfa.

Important safety information:

  • Thyrotropin alfa may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use thyrotropin alfa with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid (eg, prednisone) for you to take before you receive thyrotropin alfa.
  • Use thyrotropin alfa with caution in certain ELDERLY patients; they may be at risk of developing irregular heartbeat.
  • Thyrotropin alfa should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 16 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using thyrotropin alfa while you are pregnant. It is not known if thyrotropin alfa is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use thyrotropin alfa, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of thyrotropin alfa:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Headache; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; one-sided weakness; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; shortness of breath or other breathing problems; slurred speech; vision problems.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; fast heartbeat; headache; hot flashes; nausea; unusual sweating; vomiting; weakness.

Proper storage of thyrotropin alfa:

Thyrotropin alfa is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using thyrotropin alfa at home, store thyrotropin alfa as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep thyrotropin alfa, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about thyrotropin alfa, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Thyrotropin alfa is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take thyrotropin alfa or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about thyrotropin alfa. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to thyrotropin alfa. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using thyrotropin alfa.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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