What is Levothyroxine Sodium?
Levothyroxine sodium, also known as Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid and Unithroid, is a synthetic drug intended to simulate the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Thyroid hormones, produced by the thyroid gland, regulate the metabolic rate of cells in the tissues of the body. It is critical in the development and growth of fetuses and newborns, and in adults is beneficial in maintaining brain function, body temperature, food metabolism and more.
Levothyroxine sodium is typically prescribed as an oral medication, but injections are also available. Dosages will vary depending on the severity of the lack of thyroid hormone. Often, doctors will closely monitor blood work during initial treatment with the medication, increasing or lowering the dosage as necessary to find a balance.
Uses for Levothyroxine Sodium
Levothyroxine is used to treat an underactive thyroid, in a condition called hypothyroidism. It replaces missing thyroid hormones and works to restore levels to normal.
Possible Side Effects of Levothyroxine Sodium
Side effects are uncommon with Levothyroxine sodium, but they do exist. Side effects include chest pain, increased heart rate, heat intolerance, sweating, nervousness, insomnia, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, fever and irregular menstrual cycles. Often, these symptoms are caused when the medication dosage is too high. Lowering the medication should help reduce the side effects, so be sure to tell your doctor if or when they arise.
Levothyroxine sodium is considered safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, but regular checkups with a medical professional are recommended to monitor thyroid levels and overall health.
Warnings About Levothyroxine Sodium
The information listed here regarding Levothyroxine sodium is for reference purposes only, and should not be used in place of medical advice. Always consult a doctor before introducing a new medication into your health regimen for correct dosage and treatment information, proper monitoring and further side effects or possible interactions with other medications.
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