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SYNTHROID (LEVOTHYROXINE)

Synthroid Description

If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your doctor may advise taking Synthroid. This Rx drug contains Levothyroxine, a man-made hormone to take the place of the hormones usually produced by your thyroid gland. This butterfly-shaped gland is located in the front of your neck and the hormones it produces control how the cells in your body use energy from the food you eat. Your metabolism affects your heartbeat and body temperature as well as how well you are burning calories.

The thyroid gland normally produces and releases two thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3). T3 is the more active thyroid hormone, and thyroxine is converted into T3 in various parts of the body. These hormones are responsible for maintaining a normal rate of metabolism in the body.

If the thyroid gland is unable to produce normal amounts of thyroxine, the level of both thyroid hormones in the blood decreases. This condition known as hypothyroidism results in a reduced rate of metabolism, leading to symptoms such as weight gain, intolerance to cold and tiredness. There is no cure for hypothyroidism, but Synthroid can keep you and your metabolism running smoothly.

Conditions Treated by Synthroid

Hypothyroidism may result from Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that can result in the development of a goiter. Your pituitary gland and thyroid gland work together in such a way that if there is a low hormone sensed, your pituitary gland will produce more TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone. If your thyroid is under attack from Hashimoto’s disease, it cannot produce more hormones; it begins to enlarge instead. Synthroid may also be prescribed to treat or prevent goiter which can be caused by hormone imbalances, radiation treatment, surgery, or cancer.

Before You Take Synthroid

You should take your daily dose of Synthroid at least thirty minutes before eating breakfast or having a caffeine-containing drink such as tea or coffee. These things can reduce the absorption of Synthroid and make it less effective.

Warnings for Synthroid

Before taking Synthroid, tell your doctor about other health conditions you have that may interfere with taking this hormone replacement. If you are pregnant or nursing, your doctor may have to adjust your dosage of Synthroid but it is not expected to be harmful to your baby. Antacids can make Synthroid less effective so it’s advised that you take any at least four hours prior and after taking Synthroid.

Possible Side Effects of Synthroid

  • Nausea
  • Hives or welts
  • Chest discomfort

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