Hormone Therapy for Congenital Hypothyroidism

NYU Langone doctors prescribe thyroid hormone therapy, a medication that contains thyroxine, or T4, to replace the missing thyroid hormone in babies with congenital hypothyroidism. Therapy begins before your baby is three weeks old and is needed for life.

This medication is essential to ensure strong growth and development and a properly regulated metabolism throughout childhood and into adulthood. Beginning thyroid hormone therapy shortly after birth prevents serious complications, such as developmental delays and permanent intellectual disability.

Thyroid hormone therapy is prescribed as a small pill that can be crushed and mixed in formula, breast milk, or other foods and then given to babies and young children. After treatment begins, the doctor performs blood tests every few weeks during the first year of your child’s life to monitor thyroid hormone levels. 

As your child grows, the doctor periodically needs to adjust the medication dosage. During follow-up visits, the doctor also examines your child to make sure he or she is growing and developing as expected.

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