Generic Name: thyrotropin alfa (THYE roe TROE pin AL fa)
Brand Name: Thyrogen
What is Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa)?
Thyrotropin alfa is a manmade form of a protein similar to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is normally produced by your thyroid. Thyrotropin alfa keeps your TSH levels steady while you undergo thyroid tests or treatments that can reduce TSH and cause symptoms of low thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Thyrotropin alfa is used together with radioactive iodine ablation (a procedure to remove thyroid tissue that was not removed with surgery) in people with thyroid cancer.
Thyrotropin alfa is also used during medical testing to check for certain types of thyroid cancer that has returned after treatment. Thyrotropin alfa may not help your doctor find all signs of cancer, and there is still a chance that some of your cancer could be missed.
Thyrotropin alfa will not treat cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Thyrotropin alfa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa)?
Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about the timing of your medications, scans, and other treatments. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa)?
You should not use thyrotropin alfa if you are allergic to it.
To make sure thyrotropin alfa is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
heart disease or history of stroke;
if you take birth control pills; or
if you are a woman and you smoke or have migraine headaches.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether thyrotropin alfa will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether thyrotropin alfa passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa)given?
Thyrotropin alfa is injected into a muscle of the buttock. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Thyrotropin alfa is usually given in 2 separate injections 24 hours apart.
You may also be given radioactive iodine to take 24 hours after your last thyrotropin alfa injection. If you need a thyroid scan, the scan should take place 48 hours after you take the radioactive iodine.
Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about the timing of your medications, scans, and other treatments.
Your doctor may want you to receive this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to quickly treat any serious side effects that occur.
You may be given steroid medicine to help keep tumors from growing larger while you are receiving thyrotropin alfa.
Drink plenty of liquids before you are treated with thyrotropin alfa.
As part of your treatment, you will need frequent blood tests. You may not notice any change in your symptoms, but your blood work will help your doctor determine whether treatment has been effective.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your thyrotropin alfa injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid after receiving Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa)?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
throat pain or swelling, trouble breathing;
sudden swelling, pain, numbness, or loss of movement in any part of your body;
signs of overactive thyroid--unexplained weight loss, increased appetite, changes in bowel habits, fast or pounding heartbeats, sweating, feeling anxious or irritable; or
signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance.
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
weakness, tired feeling;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
numbness or tingly feeling.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa)?
Other drugs may interact with thyrotropin alfa, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Thyrogen (thyrotropin alpha)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about thyrotropin alfa.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: June 10, 2014