Health Guide

Thyrotropin alfa (By injection)

Thyrotropin Alfa (thye-roe-TROE-pin AL-fa)

Used in the treatment of thyroid cancer. Also used as part of a test to detect or monitor thyroid cancer.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital or cancer treatment center. This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle of the buttocks.
  • Your doctor will have instructions for you on how to get ready for your treatment. Check with your doctor ahead of time if you have not received instructions or you do not understand them.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, heart disease, nerve problems, a history of stroke, or have any other cancer or tumors. Also make sure your doctor knows if your thyroid cancer has spread. Your doctor will need to know if you have been treated in the past or have had allergies with bovine thyroid stimulating hormone.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have trouble moving your legs or arms, trouble speaking, a severe headache, or weakness after you receive this medicine.
  • This medicine can cause sudden, rapid, and painful growth of thyroid tumors. Tell your doctor right away if you have noisy breathing, trouble breathing, or voice changes.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Confusion, severe headache, trouble speaking
  • Pain or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body
  • Trouble breathing, voice changes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild headache
  • Nausea

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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