Levothyroxine is a medication that is used to treat hypothyroidism, which is also known as an underactive thyroid. The generic name is levothyroxine but its brand names include Levoxyl, Synthroid, Euthyrox, Tirosint, Unithroid and Tirosint-Sol. Having an underactive thyroid means that your body is not given the necessary hormones it needs to regulate metabolism and energy.
Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid gland, which means that it doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone that the body needs. This is usually caused by autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, radiation treatment and surgical removal of the thyroid. When your body starts lacking in thyroid hormones, it can be difficult for it to function normally.
How does it work?
Levothyroxine replenishes your body of the thyroxine hormone that is normally produced by the thyroid gland. If the thyroid gland cannot, for some reason, function as well as it used to, then Levothyroxine is a good alternative in ensuring that your body can still function well. This medication boosts thyroxine hormone levels.
What should you know before taking it?
Not everybody is suited for Levothyroxine. When people misuse this medication, then it can be extremely dangerous as certain side-effects, even death, can happen to them. This shouldn’t be used to treat weight problems or obesity. You should also look out for the effects of Levothyroxine, especially when you’re taking appetite suppressants or weight-loss medications.
Since it provides natural-occurring hormones, nearly everybody can take this medication. However, people with certain medical conditions can’t take Levothyroxine. If you have the following ailments or conditions, then you should inform your doctor:
- A thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis
- An untreated or uncontrolled adrenal gland disorder
- Symptoms of a heart attack, which includes pain spreading to the jaw or shoulder, nausea, a general ill feeling, swearing or pain the chest
Before taking Levothyroxine, inform your doctor if you’ve experienced the following:
- A thyroid nodule
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- A blood clot
- A type of blood-clotting disorder
- Any food or drug allergies
- Any issues with your pituitary gland