What Are The Side Effects Of Levothyroxine Sodium
Reported side effects of levothyroxine sodium include:
- Skin problems, such as red, inflamed skin
- Increased drinking and urination and
- Increased activity level.
FDA encourages you to call your veterinarian if you think your dog is having a side effect from levothyroxine sodium. A side effect associated with a drug is called an adverse event. Adverse events also include a lack of effectiveness and reactions in people who handle the drug. Call your healthcare provider if you have a reaction to levothyroxine sodium.
FDA also encourages you to work with your veterinarian to report any adverse event – in either pets or people – associated with levothyroxine sodium or any product defect such as defective packaging or the drug is off-color. How to Report Animal Drug and Device Side Effects and Product Problems.
Remember to keep the drug in a secure location out of reach of children, dogs, cats, and other animals to prevent accidental ingestion or overdose.
Sometimes, a condition called thyrotoxicosis may develop dogs receiving levothyroxine sodium if:
- The dose is too high
- The dog has an underlying illness that affects the bodys ability to break down the drug or
- The dog is very sensitive to the drug.
Signs of thyrotoxicosis include panting, nervousness, hyperactivity, a rapid pulse, increased drinking and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss despite having an increased appetite. Call your veterinarian if you see these signs in your dog.
Combination Medications With Synthetic T3 And T4 Hormones
Also available on the market are combination medications that contain both synthetic T4 and T3 hormones, but such medications arent usually recommended. For one thing, most patients see their condition improve with synthetic T4 alone because of the ability of the thyroid to convert these hormones to T3 when needed.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend a separate T3 medication called liothyronine in addition to levothyroxine.
Usual Adult Dose For Tsh Suppression:
Doses higher than those produced physiologically by the gland. Results in the suppression of the production of the endogenous hormones.Iodine uptake is determined before and after the administration of the exogenous hormone. Uptake of 50% greater suppression indicates a normal thyroid-pituitary axis and thus rules out thyroid gland autonomy.
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Synthetic T4 Hormones To Replace Insufficient Thyroid Hormones
Hypothyroidism is most commonly treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy, and the most effective way to treat hypothyroidism is with synthetic T4 medication. While these hormones are identical to the natural T4 that the thyroid makes, several factors can affect the exact dosage you need. These include your age, the severity of symptoms, and your overall health profile.
Synthetic T4 is available in a prescription medication called levothyroxine, sold under brand names such as Levothroid and Synthroid. There are many generic versions available, too. Youll want to take care in switching back and forth between brands, as there may be slight variations in doses.
When you first start taking prescription thyroxine hormones, your doctor will prescribe a dosage based on your weight and your blood test results for TSH and free T4 levels. Children, teenagers, and the elderly generally require smaller doses.
Penn Offers Thyroid Cancer Patients Comprehensive Care
Emily Haase-Overstreet was in her early twenties when she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at Penn Medicine in 2010. The disease had spread to her lymph nodes and she had a visible lump on the front of her neck.
Emily was treated by Dr. Mandel and her colleague, Dr. Rachel Kelz, an Endocrine Surgeon who serves as co-director of Penn Medicine’s thyroid disease team.
Dr. Rachel Kelz
Haase-Overstreet underwent surgery to remove her thyroid and 29 lymph nodes.
“Recovery for me took about a week or two,” Haas said.
During her recovery, Haas said her doctors checked in with her regularly, asking questions and offering her reassurance. These days, Emily takes a thyroid hormone replacement pill every morning. She feels her life has largely returned to normal.
More than a decade later, Emily still remains in touch with her doctors.
“I never felt I was dealing with white coats or that I was a number while at Penn,” Haase-Overstreet said. “Dr. Mandel, Dr. Kelz and all other doctors, nurses and staff were truly genuine and I felt exceptionally cared for.”
The team at Penn Medicine makes a concerted effort to ensure that patients are as comfortable as they can be under the circumstances. That includes directing patients to the Abramson Cancer Center’s supportive care services like counselors, dietitians and family therapists.
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Hypothyroidism Symptoms In Adults
indicates that hypothyroidism symptoms in men may also include erectile dysfunction.
Hypothyroidism symptoms in women may additionally include:
- menstrual changes, particularly irregular or heavy periods
- problems during pregnancy, including anemia
Its also possible to develop hypothyroidism during pregnancy. Symptoms will usually be similar to those of other cases of hypothyroidism.
How To Switch To A Levothyroxine Alternative
Switching to or from a levothyroxine alternative should only be done after seeking medical advice and guidance from a healthcare provider. Dosages are generally based on weight, age, and gender. The process for switching to a levothyroxine alternative will depend on the thyroid medication levothyroxine is switched to.
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Are Either Generic Or Brand Medications Preferred
Generally, generic medications are less expensive than brand medications and are favored by most insurance companies. Insurance companies often require a trial of generic medicine before a brand medication is approved.
The FDA has strict rules regarding the quality, strength, and purity of the active ingredient in both generic and brand medicines. Both brand and generic medication should work equally well to replace the thyroid hormone that your body needs. There are several studies that have shown similar effectiveness between brand and generic medications.
What Is Levothyroxine And How Does It Work
Levothyroxine sodium is a drug approved by the FDA as an oral and injectable prescription thyroid hormone medication that is used to treat underactive thyroid and other conditions. Hypothyroidism is a medical term that refers to any state in which a person’s thyroid hormone production is below normal. This medication replaces or provides thyroid hormone support, which is normally produced by the thyroid gland. Low thyroid hormone levels can occur naturally or when the thyroid gland is injured by radiation/medications or removed by surgery. Having enough thyroid hormone is important for maintaining normal mental health and physical activity. In children, having enough thyroid hormone is important for normal mental and physical development. Levothyroxine is also know as L-thyroxine.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are depend on the health of the thyroid and the efficient production of the thyroid hormone, but can include:
- dry, rough skin, and
Levothyroxine sodium is also used to treat other types of thyroid hormone and thyroid disorders and conditions .
Levothyroxine sodium should not be used to treat infertility unless it is caused by low thyroid hormone levels.
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What Can I Expect After Radiofrequency Ablation Of A Thyroid Nodule
For benign nodules, when the primary goal is to reduce the size of the nodule, patients usually notice a reduction in size about 1 month after the procedure. This shrinkage will continue until the nodule is much smaller. However, we do not expect that the nodule will completely go away. The goal is to treat these nodules in a single RFA session. Very large nodules or nodules not well controlled with 1 treatment may need additional RFA treatments to reduce them to an optimal size.
Levothyroxine Alternatives: What Can I Take Instead Of Levothyroxine
Levothyroxine is a generic thyroid hormone medication used to treat an underactive thyroid . It is also approved for thyroid-stimulating hormone suppression, which aids in treating certain types of goiters and thyroid cancer. Levothyroxine can be used along with surgery and radioiodine therapy to manage thyrotropin-dependent thyroid cancer. While levothyroxine is a commonly prescribed thyroid hormone medication, some people prefer to use an alternative thyroid medication.
You may have an allergy to the ingredients in levothyroxine or you may find that levothyroxine is just not working for you. If you and your healthcare provider have decided levothyroxine is not right for you, you may be recommended a levothyroxine alternative, such as Armour Thyroid. You should not use an alternative medication without consulting your healthcare provider first.
Continue reading to learn more about levothyroxine alternatives, their possible side effects, and other important information.
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Drug Criteria & Outcomes: Drug Interactions With Thyroid Drugs
By Melissa Headrick, PharmD
Thyroid-replacement medications, such as levothyroxine , are used to treat a variety of medical conditions. The most common is hypothyroidism, but these agents also can be used to suppress pituitary thyroid-stimulating hormone and for diagnostic purposes. The optimal dose for hypothyroidism should be the minimum that restores normal serum TSH levels. The average maintenance dosage is 75-125 mcg/d orally, but dosages vary among patients and indications.
Many drug classes and individual drugs can interact with thyroid hormones by several different mechanisms. The most common interactions are with prescription agents, such as rifampin, anticonvulsants, certain antacids, warfarin, and digoxin.
If a patient taking thyroid hormone experiences symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism , a drug interaction could be occurring. Some possible management options include changing the dose of thyroid hormone, monitoring TSH levels, and separating the interacting agents. Clinical judgment should be used to evaluate these and other drugs for their potential to interact with thyroid hormones.
What Are Other Thyroid Hormone Replacements
- Also known as T3
- T3 has a very short half-life and must be given two to three times each day
- T3 is responsible for most of the functions of thyroid hormone. Most of T3 comes from the conversion T4 to T3
- However, T3 is seldom used alone for the treatment of hypothyroidism
- T3 is rarely used in combination with LT4 for the treatment of hypothyroidism, but carefully controlled studies in the United States have not shown any benefit from this combined therapy
- T3 is used for short term therapy during the preparation of patients with thyroid cancer for diagnostic imaging or radioactive iodine treatment
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Common Thyroid Medications/thyroid Hormone Supplements
In addition to levothyroxine , which is what the American Thyroid Association considers the standard of care in treating hypothyroidism, another thyroid medication is liothyronine , the manufactured form of .
Each person has individual needs and responds somewhat differently to medications, and you should discuss with your health care provider which treatment options are best for you.
In addition to medication, there are many different formulations of thyroid-support supplements available over the counter. However, its important to remember that dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. They might be adulterated with prescription drugs or not contain the ingredients stated on the label. They can also interact with your prescribed medication in unpredictable ways. Further, taking too much of any vitamin or mineral can be toxic and can have negative effects on your health. You should always talk to your health care provider about any supplements you may be considering before you begin taking them.
Natural Hypothyroid Supplements Derived From Animal Thyroids
Going natural is an evolving trend in healthcare. Even hypothyroid patients are exploring their options outside of synthetic thyroid hormone. One such option is a so-called natural thyroid supplement made from dried animal thyroid glands. These are usually derived from pigs but are also sometimes made from dried cow thyroids.
While getting thyroid hormones from an actual thyroid gland might seem good in theory, there are actually numerous issues with dried animal thyroid supplements. The hormones in an animal thyroid gland have a much different makeup compared with those in a human thyroid.
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Whats The Difference Between Generic And Brand Medications
WHAT IS THE GENERIC NAME OF A MEDICATION?
The generic name is the name of the active ingredient in the medicine. For thyroid hormone, the generic of T4 is levothyroxine and the generic of T3 is liothyronine.
WHAT IS THE BRAND NAME OF A MEDICATION?
The brand name is the name assigned by the registered drug company. It has the same active ingredient but different inactive ingredients. There may be multiple companies selling the same medication under different brand names. All forms of the medicine contain the same active ingredient, however, what is added to the medicine to form the pill can be different between generics and brands. Popular brand names for levothyroxine include but are not limited to Synthroid®, Levoxyl®, Unithyroid®, Tirosint® in the United States and Euthyrox® and Eltroxin® in Europe.
Please visit the following link for a table of approved Levothyroxine Sodium Oral Formulations approved in the United States.
Other Supplements To Be Wary Of If You Have Hypothyroidism
Calcium Calcium supplements or antacids that contain calcium may interfere with the effectiveness of your thyroid hormone replacement medications. The Mayo Clinic advises taking any products with calcium a minimum of four hours before or after taking your synthetic thyroid hormones.
Iron Also risky if you have hypothyroidism are iron supplements. Similar to calcium, these supplements can affect how your thyroid hormone replacement is absorbed in the body.
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Are There Any Risks To Hyperthyroidism Treatments
With most treatments, there are also risks of side effects. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider and weigh all of the advantages and disadvantages before deciding on a treatment plan. Some of these risks include:
After treatment, youll most likely need to take replacement thyroid hormone for the rest of your life. This is because some of these treatments especially surgery reduce your thyroid hormone levels to very low levels or eliminate this hormone by removing your thyroid. Youll need to reintroduce the thyroid hormones back into your system by taking regular medication.
Ways To Live Better When Diagnosed With Hypothyroidism
But living with hypothyroidism can be similarly emotional. The disease may lead to weight gain and an increased risk for depression women with hypothyroidism may have trouble conceiving and youngsters may experience growth delays.
If youve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism a condition in which the thyroid gland produces insufficient hormones you have many treatments at your disposal, and these treatments can help you return to a healthy, active life.
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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.
How Do You Feel When Your Thyroid Is Acting Up
If your thyroid gland is overactive, you may feel jittery with attacks of anxiety, irritability, and hyperactivity. You may feel nervous, experience mood swings, and have sleep disorders. Conversely, if your thyroid gland is underactive, you may experience low energy, often feeling tired and depressed.
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What Is Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Complementary and Alternative Medicine is defined as a medical system, practice or product that is not usually thought of as standard care. Standard medical care is based on scientific evidence that the treatment is effective and safe, or has acceptable risks. For example, standard care for papillary or follicular thyroid cancer often includes surgery, radioactive iodine and thyroid hormone suppression therapy. Standard care for different thyroid diseases will depend on the specific condition.
The National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health defines complementary medicine as being used along with standard medical treatments, and alternative medicine as being used in place of standard medical treatments. Integrative medicine is a comprehensive approach to care that includes patients mind body and spirit this combines standard medicine with CAM practices.
What Can I Take In Place Of Levothyroxine
Levothyroxine sodium is a generic medication that contains a synthetic form of thyroxine , a natural thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. The body converts T4 to triiodothyronine , the more active form of the thyroid hormone. Alternatives to levothyroxine include natural and synthetic forms of T4 or T3. Some levothyroxine alternatives contain both T4 and T3.
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