Some of the views expressed in the following notes on newly approved products should be regarded as preliminary, as there may have been limited published data at the time of publication, and little experience in Australia of their safety or efficacy. However, the Editorial Executive Committee believes that comments made in good faith at an early stage may still be of value. Before new drugs are prescribed, the Committee believes it is important that more detailed information is obtained from the manufacturer's approved product information, a drug information centre or some other appropriate source.

Thyrotropin alfa-rch

Thyrogen (Genzyme)
0.9 mg/mL in 5 mL vials
Approved indication: thyroid cancer testing
Australian Medicines Handbook Section 10.3

This recombinant form of human thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) can be used in diagnostic tests of patients with thyroid cancers. One indication, in conjunction with radioactive iodine imaging, is for the detection of remnant thyroid tissue after total thyroidectomy. The radioiodine is given 24 hours after the second of two intramuscular injections of reconstituted thyrotropin (also given 24hours apart). A similar regimen is used for thyroglobulin testing with a serum sample being taken 72 hours after the second injection. (Thyroglobulin should be undetectable after total thyroidectomy.)

The common adverse effects of thyrotropin are nausea and headache.