Synthroid

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Levothyroxine is a medication used to address hypothyroidism, a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland that produces insufficient thyroid hormone. Additionally, it is employed in the treatment of congenital hypothyroidism (known as cretinism) and goiter, which refers to the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Levothyroxine is also part of the treatment plan for thyroid cancer in conjunction with surgery and radioactive iodine therapy.

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Description

Levothyroxine is a medication used to address hypothyroidism, a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland that produces insufficient thyroid hormone. Additionally, it is employed in the treatment of congenital hypothyroidism (known as cretinism) and goiter, which refers to the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Levothyroxine is also part of the treatment plan for thyroid cancer in conjunction with surgery and radioactive iodine therapy. This medication belongs to the class of hormones and functions by replenishing the thyroid hormone typically generated by the body. In the absence of sufficient thyroid hormone, the body may exhibit various symptoms such as stunted growth, sluggish speech, fatigue, chronic tiredness, constipation, weight gain, hair loss, dry and thickened skin, heightened sensitivity to cold, muscle and joint discomfort, irregular or heavy menstrual periods, as well as depression. Proper administration of levothyroxine effectively alleviates these symptoms.

Additional information

Usage

Usage
Levothyroxine is available in tablet and capsule forms for oral administration. Typically, it is taken once daily on an empty stomach, preferably half to one hour before having breakfast. It is essential to adhere to the instructions provided on your prescription label, and if there are any aspects you find unclear, consult your doctor or pharmacist for clarification. Ensure that you follow the prescribed dosage precisely, refrain from taking more or less than recommended, or increase the frequency of administration without your doctor's approval.
When taking levothyroxine in tablet form, swallow it whole with a full glass of water to prevent it from becoming lodged in your throat, which could lead to choking or gagging. If you need to administer levothyroxine to an infant, child, or adult who cannot swallow tablets, you can crush the tablet and mix it in 1 to 2 teaspoons of plain water. It's crucial to administer this mixture immediately and not store it. Additionally, only mix crushed tablets with water, avoiding any combination with food or soybean infant formula.
Typically, your doctor will initiate treatment with a low dose of levothyroxine, which may gradually increase over time. While levothyroxine effectively manages hypothyroidism, it does not provide a cure. It may take several weeks before you observe any changes in your symptoms. Consequently, continue taking levothyroxine consistently, even if you begin to feel better. Do not discontinue your levothyroxine treatment without first consulting your doctor.

Side Effects

Side Effects
Levothyroxine may lead to certain side effects. If any of the following symptoms become severe or persist, it's important to notify your doctor:
• Weight loss
• Tremors
• Headaches
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Stomach cramps
• Nervousness
• Irritability
• Insomnia
• Excessive sweating
• Increased appetite
• Fever
• Changes in menstrual cycle
• Sensitivity to heat
• Temporary hair loss, especially noticeable in children within the initial month of treatment.
However, if you experience any of the subsequent symptoms, it is crucial to contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical assistance:
• Chest pain (angina)
• Rapid or irregular heartbeat or pulse

Storage

Storage
To ensure the safe storage and disposal of this medication:
• Keep it in its original container, securely closed, and away from children.
• Store at room temperature, avoiding excessive heat and moisture (do not store in the bathroom).
• Dispose of any unused medication properly, not by flushing it down the toilet.
• Participate in a medicine take-back program if available, or consult your pharmacist or local garbage/recycling department.
• Store all medications out of children's reach, as some containers may not be child-resistant.
• Always use safety caps and keep medicines in a secure, out-of-sight location to prevent accidental ingestion by children.

Precaution

Precautions
Before using levothyroxine:
• Inform your doctor and pharmacist of any allergies to levothyroxine, thyroid hormone, other medications, or any components in levothyroxine.
• Share a list of all prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbal products you take, including specific medications like amiodarone, blood thinners, beta-blockers, corticosteroids, and others. This helps your doctor adjust your doses or monitor for interactions.
• If you take antacids, calcium carbonate, or other specified medications, take them at least 4 hours before or after levothyroxine.
• Discuss your medical history, including conditions like diabetes, atherosclerosis, kidney or liver disease, bleeding disorders, porphyria, cardiovascular diseases, adrenal or pituitary gland issues, or swallowing difficulties.
• Inform your physician if you are currently pregnant, contemplating pregnancy, or breastfeeding.
• Before any surgery, including dental procedures, inform your healthcare providers about your levothyroxine use.

Warnings

Warnings
Do not use thyroid hormone for weight loss in individuals with normal thyroid function. Levothyroxine is not effective for weight reduction in such cases and can lead to severe or life-threatening complications, particularly when combined with amphetamines. Discuss the potential risks of this medication with your doctor.

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