Drugs used to treat hypopituitarism replace the deficient hormone.
- Glucocorticoids (eg, hydrocortisone) are used to treat adrenal insufficiency resulting from ACTH deficiency.
- Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is used for hypothyroidism (a condition in which thyroid production is low). Drugs, such as levothyroxine (eg, Synthroid, Levoxyl), may be used. In the drug’s active form, it influences growth and development of tissues.
- Sex hormone deficiency is treated with sex-appropriate hormones (eg, testosterone, estrogen).
- Testosterone replacement therapy (eg, Andro-LA, Androderm) is used in men. Testosterone promotes and maintains the development of secondary sexual characteristics (eg, facial hair) in males with androgen deficiency.
- Estrogen replacement therapy (eg, Premarin) with or without progesterone is used in women. Estrogens are important in developing and maintaining the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics (eg, breast development).
- GH replacement therapy (eg, Genotropin, Humatrope) is used for children as appropriate. Growth hormone stimulates linear growth and growth of skeletal muscle and organs. GH therapy may also be used in adults, but this will not make them grow taller.
James R Mulinda, MD, FACP, FACE
Arthur B Chausmer, MD, PhD, FACP, FACE, FACN, CNS
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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