Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Acide 3,3', 5-Triiodothyroacétique; Acide Triiodothyroacétique; Triac; Triiodothyroacetic Acid; 3,3', 5-triiodothyroacetic acid.


Tiratricol is a naturally occurring chemical in the body. It can also be man-made.

Tiratricol is used as a dietary supplement for thyroid problems including thyroid cancer. It is also used for increasing metabolic rate for weight loss, and reducing cellulite.

However, in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the product Triax (TRIAC, tiratricol) is not a dietary supplement but an unapproved new drug containing a powerful thyroid hormone, which may cause serious health consequences. The State of Missouri embargoed the product at its distributor (Syntrax) and the Utah-based manufacturer (Pharmatech) has agreed to stop distributing any product containing the ingredient TRIAC. The FDA has issued recalls for other tiratricol-containing products, including Tricana Metabolic Hormone Analogue, Tria-Cutz Thyroid Stimulator Dietary Supplement Capsules, and Sci-Fi-Tri-Cuts Dietary Supplement Capsules.

In France, tiratricol is a prescription drug used mostly for thyroid disease. It has been studied since the 1950s.

How does it work?

Tiratricol might work by improving thyroid function. It might also help lower cholesterol and stimulate bone formation.


Skin Cancer Symptoms, Types, Images See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

Likely Effective for...

  • Pituitary resistance to thyroid hormone (PRTH).

Possibly Effective for...

Likely Ineffective for...

  • Weight loss. Taking tiratricol isn't effective for increasing metabolic rate for weight loss in people with normal thyroid function.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tiratricol for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Tiratricol is safe when used by a healthcare professional for thyroid problems. It can cause side effects such as severe diarrhea, fatigue, weakness, and weight loss.

Tiratricol should not be used by anyone with normal thyroid function.

It is UNSAFE to use tiratricol for treating cellulite and for increasing metabolic rate to cause weight loss. The FDA has issued a warning against tiratricol use for weight loss.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Tiratricol can be used during pregnancy for thyroid problems in the developing infant, under the direct supervision of a healthcare provider. However, tiratricol should not be used for other purposes during pregnancy because it might harm the developing infant's heart.

Not enough is known about the safety of using tiratricol during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

The elderly: It might be UNSAFE to use tiratricol in elderly people who have undiagnosed heart disease.

Heart disease: Taking tiratricol might make symptoms worse. Avoid use.

Chest pain (angina): Taking tiratricol might make symptoms worse. Avoid use.

High blood pressure: Taking tiratricol might make this condition worse. Avoid use.

Diabetes: There is some concern that tiratricol might interfere with blood sugar control, and doses of medications used to treat diabetes might need to be adjusted. If you have diabetes and use tiratricol, monitor you blood sugar levels carefully.

Liver disease: Tiratricol might harm the liver. It might also make existing liver disease worse. Avoid use.

Myxedema: Myxedema is a disease caused by an under-active thyroid gland. People with myxedema might be particularly sensitive to thyroid agents, including tiratricol.

Bleeding problems: Tiratricol might slow blood clotting. There is some concern that tiratricol might increase the risk of bleeding in people with certain bleeding problems. Avoid use.


Stimulant drugsInteraction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and speed up your heartbeat. Tiratricol might also speed up the nervous system. Taking tiratricol along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with tiratricol.

Some stimulant drugs include diethylpropion (Tenuate), epinephrine, phentermine (Ionamin), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), and many others.

Thyroid hormoneInteraction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Tiratricol works similarly to thyroid hormones. Taking tiratricol along with thyroid hormone pills might increase the chance of side effects from thyroid hormone.

Cholestyramine (Questran)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Cholestyramine (Questran) might decrease how much tiratricol the body absorbs. By decreasing how much tiratricol the body absorbs, cholestyramine (Questran) might decrease the effectiveness of tiratricol supplements. To avoid this interaction take tiratricol at least one hour before or four hours after taking cholestyramine.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Large amounts of tiratricol can decrease blood sugar levels. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking tiratricol along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Tiratricol might slow blood clotting. Taking tiratricol along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For treating thyroid cancer in combination with a medication called levothyroxine: 10-24 mcg of tiratricol twice daily at the beginning of treatment. The dose is gradually increased to the amount needed for benefit.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Anon. FDA warns against consuming dietary supplements containing tiratricol. FDA. 2000. Available at: www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/ANS01057.html

Asteria C, Rajanayagam O, Collingwood TN, et al. Prenatal diagnosis of thyroid hormone resistance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999;84:405-10. View abstract.

Beck-Peccoz P, Sartorio A, De Medici C, et al. Dissociated thyromimetic effects of 3, 5, 3'-triiodothyroacetic acid (TRIAC) at the pituitary and peripheral tissue levels. J Endocrinol Invest 1988;11:113-8. View abstract.

Bentin J, Desir D, Mockel J. Triac (3,5,3'-triiodo-thyroacetic acid) induced "pseudohypothyroidism". Acta Clin Belg 1984;39:285-9.

Bracco D, Morin O, Schutz Y, et al. Comparison of the metabolic and endocrine effects of 3,5,3'-triiodothyroacetic acid and thyroxine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1993;77:221-8. View abstract.

Chow WS, Lam KS. An overweight woman with galactorrhoea. Postgrad Med J 1998;74:121-2.

Dulgeroff AJ, Geffner ME, Koyal SN, et al. Bromocriptine and Triac therapy for hyperthyroidism due to pituitary resistance to thyroid hormone. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1992;75:1071-5. View abstract.

FDA. FDA warns against consuming triax metabolic accelerator. Available at: www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/ANS00984.html

FDA. List of orphan designations and approvals. Office of Orphan Products Development. Available at: www.fda.gov/orphan/designat/list.htm.

Ferner RE, Burnett A, Rawlins MD. Triiodothyroacetic acid abuse in a female body builder. Lancet 1986;1:383.

Hawkey CM, Olsen EG, Symons C. Production of cardiac muscle abnormalities in offspring of rats receiving triiodothyroacetic acid (triac) and the effect of beta adrenergic blockade. Cardiovasc Res 1981;15:196-205. View abstract.

Heim J. [Hypothyroidism of central origin corrected by the cessation of Triac therapy]. Ann Med Interne (Paris) 1982;133:588-9. View abstract.

Jaffiol C, Daures JP, Nsakala N, et al. [Long term follow up of medical treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer]. Ann Endocrinol (Paris) 1995;56:119-26. View abstract.

Jean-Pastor MJ, Jean P, Biour M, et al. [Hepatopathies from treatment with a specialty drug combination of tiratricol-cyclovalone-retinol]. J Toxicol Clin Exp 1986;6:115-21.

Kunitake JM, Hartman N, Henson LC, et al. 3,5,3'-triiodothyroacetic acid therapy for thyroid hormone resistance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1989;69:461-6. View abstract.

Lerman JL, Pitt-rivers R. Physiological activity of triiodo and tetraiodothyroacetic acid on blood-cholesterol levels. Lancet 1956;1:885-9.

Lind P, Langsteger W, Koltringer P, et al. 3,5,3'-Triiodothyroacetic acid (TRIAC) effects on pituitary thyroid regulation and on peripheral tissue parameters. Nuklearmedizin 1989;28:217-20. View abstract.

Lledo Carreres M, Lajo Garrido JL, Gonzalez Rico M, et al. Toxic internuclear ophthalmoplegia related to antiobesity treatment. Ann Pharmacother 1992;26:1457-8.

McDermott MT, Ridgway EC. Central hyperthyroidism. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 1998;27:187-203. View abstract.

Mechelany C, Schlumberger M, Challeton C, et al. TRIAC (3,5,3'-triiodothyroacetic acid) has parallel effects at the pituitary and peripheral tissue levels in thyroid cancer patients treated with L-thyroxine. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 1991;35:123-8. View abstract.

Menegay C, Juge C, Burger AG. Pharmacokinetics of 3,5,3'-triiodothyroacetic acid and its effects on serum TSH levels. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh) 1989;121:651-8. View abstract.

Mueller-Gaertner HW, Schneider C. 3,5,3'-Triiodothyroacetic acid minimizes the pituitary thyrotrophin secretion in patients on levo-thyroxine therapy after ablative therapy for differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 1988;28:345-51. View abstract.

Nicolini U, Venegoni E, Acaia B, et al. Prenatal treatment of fetal hypothyroidism: is there more than one option? Prenat Diagn 1996;16:443-8. View abstract.

Olsen EG, Symons C, Hawkey C. Effect of triac on the developing heart. Lancet 1977;2:221-3. View abstract.

Pitt-Rivers R. Physiological activity of the acetic acid analogues of some iodinated thyronines. Lancet 1953;2:234.

Radetti G, Persani L, Molinaro G, et al. Clinical and hormonal outcome after two years of triiodothyroacetic acid treatment in a child with thyroid hormone resistance. Thyroid 1997;7:775-8. View abstract.

Sherman SI, Ladenson PW. Organ-specific effects of tiratricol: a thyroid hormone analog with hepatic, not pituitary, superagonist effects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1992;75:901-5. View abstract.

Sherman SI, Ringel MD, Smith MJ, et al. Augmented hepatic and skeletal thyromimetic effects of tiratricol in comparison with levothyroxine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1997;82:2153-8. View abstract.

Takeda T, Suzuki S, Liu RT, et al. Triiodothyroacetic acid has unique potential for therapy of resistance to thyroid hormone. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1995;80:2033-40. View abstract.