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Levothyroxine is an effective medication, used to treat hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). The thyroid gland produces hormones to control growth and energy levels, but those with an underactive thyroid do not produce the necessary amount. Levothyroxine is used to replenish this.
What is Levothyroxine?
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. To solve this problem, Levothyroxine provides the hormones that is normally produced by the thyroid gland. Other uses for this medication include treating and prevent goiter, which can be caused by a number of factors such as cancer, surgery, radiation treatment and hormone imbalances.
What is hypothyroidism?
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.
For people suffering from hypothyroidism, they can experience being colder, getting tired more easily, their skin getting drier and them feeling more constipated. The symptoms for hypothyroidism might be easily confused with other diseases or conditions. The best way to determine if you have this condition or not is to subject yourself to a blood test for TSH. If you have other family members that suffer from thyroid disease, then you should get yourself checked as thyroid diseases can run in the family.
How does Levothyroxine 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 Levothyroxine?
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 Levothyroxine 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
If you’re under the Levothyroxine medication and you become pregnant, then you should inform your doctor about your new condition before doing something drastic like stopping your treatment. It can be extremely harmful for you and the baby if thyroid hormone levels are suddenly changed. In this case, your doctor may give you a different dosage. This is the same if you are currently breastfeeding. Abrupt changes in your thyroxine hormone can be detrimental for you and your baby’s health.
What are the benefits of using Levothyroxine?
Levothyroxine is used by people whose thyroid glands aren’t producing the necessary hormones that they need. You might notice the overall symptoms of an underactive thyroid but it’s important to get yourself checked as this condition can lead to other more serious side-effects. This includes exhaustion, depression and weight gain. Because of the weight gain, some people might use Levothyroxine to regulate their weight. However, this is not the case. This medication should be used to regulate your body’s metabolism and energy levels, not to lose weight.
What are the side-effects of using Levothyroxine?
Levothyroxine can bring about some changes to your body, especially since it replenishes hormones that you need. People have reported on the most common ones. However, some uncommon side-effects have also been reported. It’s important to know what is considered normal and not. Therefore, if you’re experience the following, then you’ll know when to call the doctor or not.
Here are the most common side-effects when taking Levothyroxine:
- Irregular heartbeats
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Increased appetite
- Feeling hot
- Weight loss
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Skin rashes
Other serious side-effects have also been reported. If you experience them, then stop taking Levothyroxine and immediately call your doctor. Below, you’ll find a list of the serious side-effects when it comes to taking this medication:
- Chest pain or pain that spreads to the shoulder or jaw
- Fast or irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Hot flashes
- Memory problems
- Leg cramps
- Muscle aches
- Feeling cold
People can also be allergic to the active ingredients found in Levothyroxine. If you experience swelling of the mouth, face, tongue or lips, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing or hives, then stop taking Levothyroxine and get yourself to the hospital or call the emergency hotline number.
What is the proper dosage of Levothyroxine?
Levothyroxine comes in many dosages and forms. It can be taken as a tablet or as a capsule, otherwise known as Tirosint. The strengths of Levothyroxine can differ for each form. For a tablet, you have the following dosages: 25 mcg, 50 mcg, 75 mcg, 88 mcg, 100 mcg, 112 mcg, 125 mcg, 137 mcg, 150 mcg, 175 mcg, 200 mcg and 300 mcg. For the capsule, you can get 13 mcg, 25 mcg, 50 mcg, 75 mcg, 88 mcg, 100 mcg, 112 mcg, 125 mcg, 137 mcg and 150 mcg. Make sure to inform your doctor regarding any current or past health conditions to receive the best dosage that is right for you.
Where can you purchase Levothyroxine?
Levothyroxine can be purchased from local pharmacies and supermarkets. It is a prescription-only medication, which means that you can only get it after consulting with a doctor, who has determined that you need to Levothyroxine. However, if you want the option to buy it online, then there are other virtual pharmacies selling them. When buying from online stores, make sure that it’s a valid and legal option as there are other stores that might sell you counterfeit medication. Additionally, you can order as many packages as you want and have them delivered to your address. This makes it easier for you to get your medicine, even during the Coronavirus pandemic.
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