Levothroid is used to replace the hormone that is normally produced by the thyroid gland for a condition known as hypothyroidism. It is important to have adequate levels of thyroid hormone in your bloodstream in order for various organ systems in your body to function properly. This medication is used to treat other types of thyroid disorders like certain types of goiters, thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, and thyroid cancer.
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Take this medication on an empty stomach. It is usually taken as a single daily dose before breakfast. For children who cannot swallow whole tablets, crush the tablet and mix in 1 or 2 teaspoons or 5 or 10 ml of water, and give using a spoon or dropper as soon as possible after preparation. Do not store the mixture for later use. Do not mix crushed tablets in soybean infant formula. Consult your pharmacist for more information. Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage based on your medical condition, your response to therapy and your laboratory test results. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting with your doctor. Replacement therapy is usually taken for life. It may take several weeks before you notice an improvement in your symptoms.
Symptoms of low thyroid levels include fatigue, muscle aches, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, slow heart rate, sensitivity to cold, or dry brittle hair that tends to fall out easily. These symptoms should disappear as your body adjusts to the medication. If they persist or become bothersome, notify your doctor promptly. Headache, nervousness, trembling, sweating, increased appetite, diarrhea, weight loss or insomnia may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your your doctor promptly. In rare instances, some hair loss may occur during the first few months of starting this drug. This effect is usually temporary as your body adjusts to this medication. If this effect persists or worsens, notify your doctor promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these unlikely but serious side effects: chest pain, rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these very unlikely but serious side effects: seizures. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction like rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you identify other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking levothroid, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to levothyroxine, thyroid hormone, any other drugs, povidone iodine, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and drugs), or foods such as lactose or corn starch. Levothroid and Eltroxin contain lactose, while Levothroid contains tartrazine and povidone. Eltroxin contains corn starch. Before you begin taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. If you take cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid), take it at least 4 hours before or 1 hour after taking levothroid. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes; hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis); kidney disease; hepatitis; cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), arrhythmias, or heart attack; or an underactive adrenal or pituitary gland. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking levothroid, call your doctor. If you have surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking levothroid.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medicine that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medicine.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before taking the product.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of: warfarin, digoxin, estrogen products, diabetes medicines, amiodarone, iodide (including radiographic contrast agents containing iodine), lithium, anti-thyroid agents, androgens/anabolic steroids, glucocorticoids, high dose salicylates (e.g., aspirin), phenobarbital, rifamycins, beta blockers, antidepressants, cytokines, growth hormones, ketamine, theophylline. Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients such as decongestants or caffeine that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of these products. Certain medicines may decrease absorption of this drug into your bloodstream. Therefore, take levothroid 4 hours apart from: calcium supplements, iron supplements, aluminum, calcium or magnesium antacids, simethicone, cholestyramine, colestipol, sucralfate, sodium polystyrene sulfonate. Certain foods may decrease absorption of this medication when taken at the same time. Take levothroid separately from: soybean flour (soybean infant formula), walnuts, dietary fiber. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.