You Experience New Or Worsening Symptoms
If you have lived with untreated thyroid disease for years, you may have gotten used to living with symptoms. When starting medication, your appetite may change, you may be feeling tired, or you could have a change in your bowel movements.
Some thyroid medications can also cause hair loss, which most people find frustrating and undesirable.
Talk to your doctor about these issues, as they can be the effects of your thyroid hormone levels getting back to normal. Or, you could be experiencing over-treatment, meaning that you need a dose adjustment or a different medication.
Are There Any Risk Factors For This Medication
Methimazole should not be used in pets that are allergic to it, or those allergic to carbimazole or polyethylene glycol. Cats with autoimmune disease, liver disease, kidney disease, or blood and clotting diseases should not use this medication, or it should be used with extreme caution and significant monitoring. Breeding, pregnant, or nursing pets should not use this medication.
What Drugs Interact With Potassium Iodide
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctors recommendation.
- Severe interactions of potassium iodide include:
- sodium iodide I-131
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
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Levothyroxine May Interact With Other Medications
Levothyroxine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs youre taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else youre taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with levothyroxine are listed below.
What Is Potassium Iodide And What Is It Used For
Potassium iodide is an oral medication that has been used for a long time as an expectorant to break up mucus and make it easier to cough up and eliminate phlegm.
What does potassium iodide do for the body?
Potassium iodide is also used to inhibit thyroid hormone production in patients with an overactive thyroid and thyrotoxicosis. With the development of nuclear power, potassium iodide has been used to prevent the thyroid gland from absorbing harmful radioactive iodine in a radiation emergency.
Iodine, the active component of potassium iodide, is a trace mineral used by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones which have many important functions including the regulation of metabolic rate, temperature regulation, growth, and development. Iodine is used to decrease the secretion and synthesis of thyroid hormone in patients with hyperthyroidism. Iodine also increases respiratory secretion and reduces its viscosity, making it easier to cough up phlegm.
In a nuclear radiation emergency, usually nuclear power plant accidents, radioactive iodine can be absorbed by the thyroid gland, which increases the risk for thyroid cancer years after exposure, especially in infants, children, and young adults. Potassium iodide delivers a high quantity of iodine which saturates the thyroid gland and prevents it from absorbing the harmful radioactive iodine from the environment.
The uses of potassium iodide include:
- Neonatal Graves disease
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It’s Difficult To Remember To Take Your Dose
There are a number of strategies you can use to remember to take your thyroid medication. Your phone, computer, or another alarm can be programmed to give you a daily reminder. You can keep your medicine in an obvious place, such as your bedroom or kitchen, or you can use a pill organizer to keep you on track.
How To Take Your Medicine
To make sure your hypothyroidism stays under control:
Stick with the same brand. Different types of thyroid hormone medicine may contain slightly different doses. That could mess with your hormone levels.
Follow a schedule. Take your medicine at the same time each day. Aim for about an hour before a meal or at bedtime. Don’t take it when you eat. Food, as well as some supplements, such as calcium, can affect the way your body uses it.
Don’t skip doses. If you miss one, take it as soon as you remember. You can take two pills in one day if you need to.
Follow instructions carefully. Don’t stop taking your medicine without first checking with your doctor.
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What Are Typical Dosages Of These Treatments
The amount of medication which your health care provider will prescribe will vary between the different types of medication, your thyroid hormone levels, weight, gender, age, and the strength of the medication. Always follow the instructions from your health care provider on the prescription label, because the dosage is tailored for your unique needs. Thyroid hormone levels in the blood will be monitored by your health care provider to determine if your dosage is working or needs adjusting.Levothyroxine is started at a single daily dose which is then adjusted upward in increments every four to six weeks until the treatment goal is reached. People older than 50 and/or who have cardiovascular disease typically adjust incrementally every six to eight weeks.
Synthroid Contraindications And Warnings
Levothyroxine is contraindicated for use in individuals with uncorrected adrenal insufficiency. Thyroid hormone increases metabolic clearance of glucocorticoids. Beginning therapy with levothyroxine prior to initiating glucocorticoid therapy in individuals with adrenal insufficiency may precipitate an adrenal crisis. In any individual with adrenal insufficiency requiring thyroid hormone replacement, glucocorticoids must be initiated first. Levothyroxine is also contraindicated in people with acute myocardial infarction and those whose TSH is suppressed naturally or by medication.
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What Is Thyroid Hormone Replacement Medication
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It produces hormones that regulate your body’s energy use, along with many other essential functions. As part of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland makes and stores hormones that help regulate the body’s metabolism in blood pressure, blood temperature, and heart rate.
When your thyroid hormone production drops, your body processes slow down and change, affecting virtually every system in your body.
There are many different formulations of thyroid hormone replacement medication. Thyroid hormone therapy uses human-made thyroid hormones to raise replace low levels of natural thyroid hormones in the body.
While exploring the benefits and differences between these many options, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all option. We are all unique with individual sensitivities. Our bodies will not all react the same way to a specific medication or dosage.
Work with your doctor to determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs, including medication, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications. While there is no cure for hypothyroidism, you can manage the condition and your symptoms successfully with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to levothyroxine.
Learn the brand name and generic name of your medication. Do not switch brands without talking to your doctor or pharmacist, as each brand of levothyroxine contains a slightly different amount of medication.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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Dog Thyroid Medication Side Effects
If your vet diagnoses your pet with a dog thyroid problem, you’ll need to take prompt action in order to ensure that your pet is adequately cared for. Thyroid conditions can lead to a variety of damaging and potentially fatal conditions in and of themselves, not to mention that the symptoms of such a condition might be quite devastatingto your pet’s way of life.
Before you give your pet any number of different synthetic thyroid hormones, like Thyroxin, or other treatment methods and supplements, however, it’s crucial that you work with your vet to understand all of the potential side effects.
In some cases, it will actually make more sense to limit the medication that your dog will receive, particularly if the side effects of that drug are such that they may cause issues for your pet worse thanthose that his thyroid condition will bring about. Some of the most common side effects of dog thyroid medication include the following.
Can I Develop Hyperthyroidism During Pregnancy
During early pregnancy, your body needs to produce more thyroid hormones than normal to help the developing fetus. These hormones are particularly important for its brain and nervous system. Having thyroid hormone levels that are a little higher than normal is alright, but if your levels increase dramatically, your healthcare provider may need to form a treatment plan. High levels of thyroid hormones can impact not only you but also the fetus.
It can be difficult to diagnose hyperthyroidism during pregnancy because your thyroid hormone levels naturally increase and the other symptoms of pregnancy mask signs of hyperthyroidism.
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Dangers Of Too Much Thyroid Medication
If you are hypothyroid, a thyroid hormone replacement medication like levothyroxine can help to restore proper thyroid function.
Levothyroxine is sold under the brand names Tirosint, Synthroid, and Levoxyl. The FDA recommends taking levothyroxine in the morning on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes prior to eating. The FDA also recommends not taking levothyroxine with calcium, iodine, antacids, or other medications that could interfere with medication absorption .
If for any reason you take too much thyroid hormone medication, you may experience mild to severe symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Lets take a look at some of the scenarios where this could happen.
Abuse Of Levothyroxine To Lose Weight Or Enhance Performance
Abusing levothyroxine to lose weight or increase physical energy is not a common practice, but it does occur, especially among athletes. This group is more likely to abuse drugs like this to fool drug tests while getting benefits similar to those of stimulants. A DailyMail report from 2015 highlighted the story of a bronze medal-winning runner who had been pressured by her trainer to take levothyroxine to lose weight in order to compete again.
Although levothyroxine may be misused or abused by some athletes to lose weight for competitions, the World Anti-Doping Agency has not yet listed this medication on their list of forbidden substances. Despite its dangers, athletes are currently free to take this drug even if they have normal thyroid function.
Athletes may abuse levothyroxine as a performance-enhancer, but sometimes, others abuse it to lose weight. Stimulants like Adderall and cocaine have been abused for this reason, and they are more commonly found as drugs of abuse among people who have eating disorders. However, levothyroxine has sometimes been found as a drug of abuse in these cases.
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Other Medications That May Affect Tsh Levels
Certain antiepileptic medications including carbemazepine, oxcarbemazepine and valproic acid increase metabolism of thyroid hormones through the hepatic P450 system, but may also alter pituitary responsiveness to hormonal feedback and cause central hypothyroidism . Other investigators have shown that the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is not affected by these medications and a specific mechanism has not been identified , so it remains controversial if these drugs affect thyrotrope function and serum TSH levels in humans.
Recent observational studies have suggested that metformin can lower serum TSH levels . One study demonstrated this effect only in type 2 diabetics who also had hypothyroidism, but not in patients with normal thyroid function . This effect may be through altered free T4 levels in patients who are hypothyroid , but the exact mechanism is not known.
Are There Any Differences Among The Different Types Of Thyroid Replacement Hormones
There is conflicting evidence regarding which hormone replacement therapyshould be preferred. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends that clinical hypothyroidism is best treated with synthetic T4 levothyroxine . There is variability between the absorption and distribution of generic T4 compared to brand name preparations. Hence it is recommended that patients remain with specific brand names during treatment. There is also variability between generic formulations and brand names of pure T3 , combined T4/T3 formulations and thyroid extracts from animal sources . Thyroid extracts from animal sources are no longer available in the United States. Emerging information shows that combination of T4/T3 therapy may have some advantages over T4 in cognitive performance and mood but studies are not conclusive.
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Do Dogs On Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy Need To Be Monitored
Yes. Your veterinarian will monitor your dogs thyroid hormone levels after starting thyroid hormone replacement therapy to make sure the dose is adequate. If the dose is too low, your dog will not be adequately treated and signs will continue. If the dose is too high, your dog may become restless, nervous, drink and urinate more than normal, and lose weight despite having an increased appetite .
After starting thyroid hormone replacement therapy, your dogs thyroid hormone levels should be initially checked every 4 to 8 weeks. Based on these results, your veterinarian may adjust the dose until your dog is adequately maintained. After that, thyroid hormone levels should be monitored periodically in case your dogs requirement for thyroid hormone replacement therapy changes over time.
Dogs with underlying heart disease that are diagnosed with hypothyroidism should be closely monitored by their veterinarians after first starting thyroid hormone replacement therapy. The dose of heart medication or levothyroxine sodium may need to be adjusted depending on the dogs response to treatment.
What To Do If You Are Taking Too Much Thyroid Medication
It is crucial that you not abruptly stop your thyroid medication. If you think your thyroid medication dose is too high, request to have a thyroid blood test so that your doctor can assess your levels.
If you are on too much thyroid medication, your thyroid-stimulating hormone test will likely be on the lower end of the reference range. Your doctor may also check your T4 and T3 levels. If these are on the upper end of the reference range, that may also indicate overmedication.
It is also helpful to track your symptoms to have a log of what you are experiencing and what time of day. This information helps your doctor assess factors that cause dosage or absorption issues that may not show up in your blood work.
Schedule a virtual consultation with a thyroid doctor:
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You Don’t Feel Any Better
Thyroid medications usually do not work right away. It can take a few days to a few weeks for you to even start noticing a difference in how you feel. If you don’t feel better after taking your medication for several months, you may need a dose adjustment or a different medicationnot a complete stop of your regimen.
Important Safety Information And Indications
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Patients should not use Thyrogen with radioiodine if they have a contraindication to the use of radioiodine. Please consult with your doctor for a list of contraindications for radioiodine.
Thyrogen can cause serious side effects, including:Thyrogen-Induced Hyperthyroidism:
- There have been reports of events that led to death in patients who have not had surgery to have their thyroid gland removed, and in patients with thyroid cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body.
- Patients over 65 years old with large amounts of leftover thyroid tissue after surgery, or with a history of heart disease, should discuss with their physicians the risks and benefits of Thyrogen.
- Thyrogen can be administered in the hospital for patients at risk for complications from Thyrogen administration.
- Since Thyrogen was first approved for use, there have been reports of central nervous system problems such as stroke in young women who have a higher chance of having a stroke, and weakness on one side of the body. The relationship between THYROGEN administration and stroke is unknown. Patients should remain hydrated prior to treatment with Thyrogen.
Sudden Rapid Tumor Enlargement:
Risks Associated with Radioiodine Treatment:
- If THYROGEN is administered with radioiodine , the serious side effects for RAI apply to this combination regimen. Please consult with your doctor for a list of contraindications for radioiodine.
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
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Subclinical Hypothyroidismand Sluggish Thyroid
Now that you know healthy ranges of the two hormones most integral to helping you understand the health of your thyroid , in addition to having a better understanding of the role of T3 in diagnostics, what if your numbers dont add up to something conclusive?
Subclinical hypothyroidism is when your TSH levels are high but your free T4 is normal. This low-level issue doesnt need to be treated by prescription drugs, and doing so could lead to at least one thyroid medication side effect . In many cases, high levels of TSH can resolve on their own over time, especially if you take measures to get more sleep, reduce your stress, and improve your digestive health.
Some practitioners go a step even further, considering individuals with normal T4 and normal TSH levels to need medication if their levels are in the suboptimal half of the normal range. This is referred to as sluggish thyroid, and should absolutely not be treated with medication.