Hypothyroidism Treatment: Synthroid Levothyroxine Information, Effects and Results

By  //  March 26, 2018

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restores hormonal balance for normal body functioning

Synthroid, with an active ingredient Levothyroxine Sodium, is a prescription drug used in the treatment of hypothyroidism. (Wikipedia image)

Synthroid, with an active ingredient Levothyroxine Sodium, is a prescription drug used in the treatment of hypothyroidism.

This medicine works by restoring the hormonal balance for normal body functioning. It is classified under the narrow therapeutic index (NTI) medication, which basically means that it should be taken with precision to avoid a change in the TSH levels.

Its dosage is accurately titrated by a doctor to avoid changes of over- or under-replacement. In most cases, this is a life-long medication to guarantee the perfect hormonal balance in patients.

Understanding of Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland located below the neck’s lower front is connected to, and impacts on the functioning of various body parts, such as the bones, skin, brain, liver, digestive tracts, heart and muscles, plus many more.

It is responsible for the production of thyroxine which impacts on the functioning various aforementioned body parts. In the event that the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient thyroxine, the body system is slowed down, a condition known as hypothyroidism. This may result in the feeling of exhaustion, dry skin, coldness, or even hair loss.

One of the major causes of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s disease that is characterized by the inflammation of the gland, making it not able to produce the thyroxine hormone.

On the contrary, there are times when the gland can produce more than enough thyroxine, a condition known as hyperthyroidism that makes the body hyperactive. Hypothyroidism is believed to be seven times more prevalent in women (especially older than 60 years) than men, but both sexes of any age are affected. However, 50% of affected people don’t know that they suffer from it.

Doctor’s Consultation and Dosage

The surest way to ensure that you get the right treatment is by clearly explaining to the doctor how you feel. Understanding the symptoms can be tricky at times because some patients experience clear symptoms while some only a few ones or even none at all. Your physician should be closely posted on how you feel and how the body responds to the treatment.

A dosage varies from one patient to the other. There are generally 12 different dosage options that doctors can prescribe depending on factors, such as the underlying cause of the condition, age, weight, and other medical conditions one might be suffering from and medication being taken to control them.

Thyroid replacement medications like Synthroid Levothyroxine are in most cases life-long remedies. You should adhere to the doctor’s prescriptions. It is important that the physician closely monitors your response to treatment at the beginning of it.

This may involve regular testing of the TSH levels (ideally every 6-8 weeks) to be certain that the dosage is right for your body. The American Thyroid Association (ATA) and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recommend the TSH levels of between 0.45 and 4.12 mIU/L.

Note that it might take a while before the most precise dose is determined because due to the uniqueness of every case. Other than testing of the TSH levels by the doctor, you must share how you feel and accurately describe any symptoms you might be experiencing.

Precaution

As a prescription medicine, Synthroid Levothyroxine should specifically be used for the intended treatment and not anything else. It must never be used for weight loss or as an obesity remedy. It must never be used alongside other drugs used for appetite reduction since the outcome can be fatal.

Other precautions to watch out against include:

  • The drug shouldn’t be used by people with adrenal complications.
  • Women in past-menopause age have been reported to suffer from reduced bone strength when excessive volumes of Levothyroxine therapy are administered.
  • You must always disclose to the doctor the types of medicines you are taking. Tell your physician about your family planning methods and whether you or your family has a history of conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, blood clotting pituitary, and adrenal gland problems. This is very important as the doctor may find it fit to change the dosage of the drugs used in the management of some of these conditions during the Synthroid therapy.
  • Other symptoms you should share with the doctor include chest pain, leg cramps, breathing problems (difficulties catching breath), irritability, nervousness, shaking, sleeplessness, weight loss or gain, diarrhea, vomiting and increased sweating, fever, problems enduring heat, changes in menstrual cycle, or any other symptoms that you might experience during treatment. These should be communicated as soon they are detected for prompt attention by the physician.
  • This drug should not be used for the treatment of noncancerous growths in the glands or to enlarge the thyroids in people with normal levels of iodine or hypothyroidism due to inflamed thyroid glands, a condition known as thyroiditis.
  • Even after getting the right dosage, it is important to undergo comprehensive lab tests at least once annually or depending on what the doctor deems fit.
  • Your doctor may ask you to avoid some foods, such as walnuts, dietary fiber, soybean flour, and cottonseed meal as they may lower the absorption levels of Synthroid by the body from gastrointestinal tract. Levothyroxineabsorption and effectiveness can also be hindered by grapevine juice.
  • You are urged to adhere to the dosage instructions by the doctor. In most cases, the drug should be taken in the morning on an empty stomach and about one and one-half hour prior to breakfast.
  • Take calcium and iron supplements may affect the absorption of Synthroid Levothyroxine. You should, therefore, take the drug at least 4 hours prior to or after taking products that contain iron or calcium.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers may have their dose readjusted.
  • The effect of Synthroid is not instant, it might take a number of weeks before you record some improvements.
  • Before any surgical operation, ensure that you inform surgeons that you are taking Levothyroxine.

Side Effects

The most common side effects include rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain or shortness of breath, weak muscles, irritability of muscles, possible tremors, change in appetite.

One can also lose weight or hair, vomiting and diarrhea, heat intolerance, excessive sweating, fever, and impaired fertility. Women may experience changes in the menstrual cycle, headaches, and reduced bone density. You must report these symptoms to the doctor immediately.

Where to buy Synthroid Levothyroxine

Synthroid is available in different countries under various brand names. It is important to find out from the sellers that you buy the right drug. While it is possible to purchase Levothyroxineonline without a prescription, it is important to consult your doctor prior to ordering.

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