Levothyroxine

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Levothyroxine

Levothyroxine drug image
Brand Synthroid
Form Oral Tablet
Drug Type Thyroid hormones

 

Levothyroxine is used to treat hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). Levothyroxine is given when your thyroid does not produce enough of this hormone on its own.

 

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Drug Information

Levothyroxine is used to treat hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). Levothyroxine is given when your thyroid does not produce enough of this hormone on its own.

Levothyroxine is also used to treat or prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), which can be caused by hormone imbalances, radiation treatment, surgery, or cancer.

There are many brands and forms of levothyroxine available. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet.

Levothyroxine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Levothyroxine oral works best if you take it on an empty stomach, 30 to 60 minutes before breakfast. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions and try to take the medicine at the same time each day.

Swallow the tablet or capsule whole, with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. The levothyroxine tablet may dissolve very quickly and could swell in your throat.

Levothyroxine doses are based on weight in children. Your child's dose needs may change if the child gains or loses weight.

It may take several weeks before your body starts to respond to levothyroxine. Keep using this medicine even if you feel well. You may need to use levothyroxine for the rest of your life.

You may need frequent medical tests. Tell any doctor, dentist, or surgeon who treats you that you are using levothyroxine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Do not share this medicine with another person , even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction : hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or irregular heartbeats;
  • chest pain, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder;
  • shortness of breath;
  • fever, hot flashes, sweating;
  • tremors, or if you feel unusually cold;
  • weakness, tiredness, sleep problems (insomnia);
  • memory problems, feeling depressed or irritable;
  • headache, leg cramps, muscle aches;
  • feeling nervous or irritable;
  • dryness of your skin or hair, hair loss;
  • irregular menstrual periods; or
  • vomiting, diarrhea, appetite changes, weight changes.
  • Certain side effects may be more likely in older adults.
  • Common side effects may include:
  • chest pain, irregular heartbeats;
  • shortness of breath;
  • headache, leg cramps, muscle pain or weakness;
  • tremors, feeling nervous or irritable, trouble sleeping;
  • increased appetite;
  • feeling hot;
  • weight loss;
  • changes in your menstrual periods;
  • diarrhea; or
  • skin rash, partial hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Avoid the following food products, which can make your body absorb less levothyroxine: grapefruit juice, infant soy formula, soybean flour, cotton seed meal, walnuts, and high-fiber foods.

Many other medicines can be affected by your thyroid hormone levels. Certain other medicines may also increase or decrease the effects of levothyroxine.

If you use any of the following drugs, avoid taking them within 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take levothyroxine:

  • calcium carbonate (Alka-Mints, Caltrate, Os-Cal, Oyster Shell Calcium, Rolaids Soft Chew, Tums, and others);
  • cholestyramine, colesevelam, colestipol;
  • ferrous sulfate iron supplement;
  • sucralfate;
  • sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kalexate, Kayexalate, Kionex);
  • stomach acid reducers --esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, rabeprazole, Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Zegerid, and others; or
  • antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium --Gaviscon, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Mintox, Mylanta, Pepcid Complete, and others.

Many drugs can affect levothyroxine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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The information on this site is not intended to take the place of your doctor or other healthcare professionals. It is a resource to help you make the best decisions and get the most from the medical services available to you. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions.