Effects of short-term trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole administration on thyroid function in dogs

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Williamson NL, Frank LA, Hnilica KA.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:802-806.

OBJECTIVE: To determine how rapidly trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole affects serum total thyroxine (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations in euthyroid dogs and how quickly hormone concentrations return to reference values following discontinuation of administration. DESIGN: Prospective study. ANIMALS: 7 healthy euthyroid dogs. PROCEDURE: Dogs were given trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (26.5 to 31.3 mg/kg [12 to 14.2 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) for a maximum of 6 weeks. A CBC and Schirmer tear test were performed and serum total T4 and TSH concentrations were measured weekly. Administration of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was discontinued if total T4 concentration was less than the lower reference limit and TSH concentration was greater than the upper reference limit or if persistent neutropenia developed. RESULTS: Six dogs had total T4 concentrations less than the lower reference limit within 3 weeks; T4 concentration was decreased after 1 week in 3 of these 6 dogs. In these 6 dogs, TSH concentration was greater than the upper reference limit within 4 weeks. In 1 dog, T4 and TSH concentrations were not affected, despite administration of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for 6 weeks. Neutropenia developed in 4 dogs. In 1 dog, the neutropenia resolved while trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was still being administered. In the other 3, neutrophil counts returned to reference values 1 week after drug administration was discontinued. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggest that administration of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole at a dosage of 26.5 to 31.3 mg/kg, PO, every 12 hours can substantially alter serum total T4 and TSH concentrations and neutrophil counts in dogs within as short a time as a few weeks.