thyrogen shots - pre scan-RAI dose
by utahmomma, Oct 15, 2007
Well, today was day one for my first thyrogen shot.  Tomorrow is shot #2 and Wednesday is my scan-rose of RAI (scan on Friday).  This really beats the stupid diet, no meds, and deep depression that I had with the treatment dose last year!  

One stupid thing though: I got the thyrogen shot in my butt, a flu shot in my left arm, and blood drawn from my right arm.  Ow.  

My nurse was surprised that my insurance would pay for the shots which I didn't think were such a bit deal until I found out it's roughly $1000US for the series of two shots!   Holy cow, I'm in the wrong line of work!

Anyone else want to share their thyrogen stories???  I'm hoping mine is uneventful and I don't have to eventually go off the meds and have another treatment dose (FDA hasn't approved thyrogen for the treatment dose and my local hospitals aren't participating in the research)  - bummer!!
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Member Comments (18)
by AR-10, Oct 15, 2007
Educate me.
What are you talking about?
by MJ13, Oct 16, 2007
If my insurance pays for it, my endo has already said she's willing do do the thyrogen shot instead of the "old fashioned way".  Works for me.  I think the three weeks of hypohell was the worst of any of this....especially since people at work had no clue why I felt like dog due due!!!   My first annual body scan will be in Jan 08.
by malawi, Oct 16, 2007
I had the 2 shots in july and felt no different than when i was on my synthroid.
by JoanFowler, Oct 16, 2007
In my case, they are using thyrogen for the treatment.  

For AR10, Thryogen is a manufactured form of TSH that makes your TSH go up high enough for treatment to be effective, but without having to go through 6 weeks of withdrawal from thyroid hormone. You don't stop taking it at all.

Though not approved yet for treatment, it is used almost exclusively in large cities such as Philly and in more progressive centers.  The thyrogen people work with the insurance companies to get it approved.

That's what's happening in my case.  There's lots of good info on it out there.

I do the injections next week. Treatment next wednesday.  I still have to do the Low Iodine diet by the way, and to my understanding pre-treatment one does.

by mw1943, Oct 16, 2007
Well, thank you for that information on the throgen shots. my endo told me I would follow up next year between may and july, that I would get shot #1 then the next day shot #2 for the scan...I get so fogged when I am sitting in his office I am so nervious, and forget to ask my questions, go home and brood over what he must mean. Any way that is such a relief to know I won't be taken off the synthroid and put back on the low iodine hypohell. I was dign. TC in april and had TT in may ... then RAI 131 in july left the hospital on 137 mcg synthroid.
by KBo13, Oct 16, 2007
They used Thyrogen on me in 2005 for my RAI but I also had to do the Low Iodine Diet which I had no problem doing. I acutally had to do it twice, first time wasn't good enough.  Anything to make the RAI as effective as possible.  My Insurance paid for the shots as well.  They also gave me Lithium to enhance the absorption of Iodine.  Lithium is an anti-phsychotic drug and thru the years they found that people taking it had problems with their thryoid absorbing too much Iodine or something.  Like I said, if I have to put radiation in my body I want it to be as effective as possible.  Ask about the Lithium.

I go for a PET/CT Scan on Friday (more radiation, yeah!).  My 4th in just under 2 years.  Wish me luck.  
by SVETA, Oct 16, 2007
Did you do LID before Thyrogen shots ? I did not. Dr. Lupo and my endo told me that it is not necessary for diagnostic scanning.Good luck and god bless you.Sveta.
by utahmomma, Oct 17, 2007
KBo13  I haven't heard about lithium for this. Wow - interesting.  That may also have some sort of correlation to the fact that people with very high TSH levels get very depressed.  I'm *still* suffering the effects of last year's RAI (without thyrogen) treatment and the disabiliting depression.

SVETA - no, not with the thyrogen.  Last year for the treatment dose I *did* have to do the diet (which wasn't the worst part) and go off the meds (which caused horrible depression).  I'm still on my synthroid - just had to have a thyrogen shot yesterday and one today.  Be warned - they don't give them in the arm.  :-)

Everyone - thanks so much for the info.  Tomorrow is the radiation.  I'm calling this my "Three Mile" dose - last year was "Chernobyl".  Fingers crossed that I don't need another Chernobyl - my sister had to go through the treatment dose three times!!!  My family's luck isn't so hot when it comes to thyroids.  :-)  Here's some general info about RAI (or I-131 for those professionals out there):

by utahmomma, Oct 17, 2007
Had the scan dose this morning.  Only 4mCi which is baby-size compaired to last year's 100mCi (and my sister's 175mCi).  Weird thing is this dose made me very nauseated and the huge dose last year didn't.  

Friday is the scan.

let's hope it is the last one