Generic Name(s): Levothyroxine
Drug Class: Thyroid drugs
Treats: Hypothyroidism, Enlarged thyroid, Hashimoto
Levothroid is a replacement for a hormone that is normally produced by the thyroid gland to regulate the body's energy and metabolism. It is given when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of this hormone on its own.
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Levothroid is used in the treatment of hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid. It replaces or rather provides more thyroid hormone, which is normally produced by the thyroid gland. Instances of low thyroid hormone levels can occur naturally or once the thyroid gland is injured by radiations/medication or removed by surgery. Having enough thyroid hormone is crucial for maintaining normal mental and physical activity. In children, having enough thyroid hormone is essential for normal mental and physical development. Similarly, this medication is also used to treat other types of thyroid related disorders such as certain types of goiters and thyroid cancer.
- Thyroid cancer
Levothroid should be taken by mouth or as per the doctor's instructions, usually one time in a day before taking anything. It must be taken just about 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast. Take this medication with a glass full of water unless your doctor directs you otherwise. The usual adult dose for Levothroid is as follows;
- Initial dose: 12.5 to 50 mcg orally once in a day. This dosage can be increased to 12.5 mcg up to 25 mcg per day after every 2 to 4 weeks.
- In older patients/younger patients with a history of cardiovascular disease, this dosage can be increased to 12.5 mcg up to 25 mcg after every 3 to 6 weeks.
Levothroid Side Effects
Note that not all side effects of Levothroid may be reported. Always consult a doctor or a professional for medical advice. In case you encounter any of the given side effects when using Levothroid, seek help from your doctor.
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest pain/discomfort
- Tightness in the chest
- Skin rashes, itching or redness
- Difficulty with swallowing
- Irregular or racing pulse or heartbeat
- Heat intolerance
- Menstrual changes
Like any other drug, Levothroid may interact with other drugs and substances. You should consult with your doctor or medical professional before adding any new medication, including over the counter drugs. Below is a list of drugs that have been known to interact with Levothroid. Note that this list does not include all possible drug interactions.
Levothroid is known to interact with different variety of drugs such as;