Synthroid (Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets, USP): The Most Effective Treatment of Hypothyroidism

What is Synthroid, Precautions,  Side Effects, Food And Drug Interactions, Dosage, Storage Recommendations



Hormones play an essential role in human bodies and any disruptions and imbalances in their levels can affect the entire system. Hypothyroidism is quite a common endocrinal condition that is characterized by the reduced levels of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. According to the research, about 10 million people in the United States are diagnosed with this health issue, but there are also numerous people who are not even aware that they suffer from hypothyroidism. Nowadays, there exist effective medications that can be used to balance out the levels of hormones so that people can enjoy their life to the fullest. Synthroid is one of such safe and effective drugs that can be used to successfully treat hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism-a condition experienced by millions

Hypothyroidism: a condition experienced by millions

Hypothyroidism is one of those conditions that can significantly affect a person’s life, but if an individual doesn’t undergo the physical examination and tests, they may not even realize that they suffer from this condition. Some of the most common symptoms associated with this health problem include weight gain (because the condition affects metabolism), fatigue, feeling cold, dry skin, slow heartbeat, depression, and constipation. Another symptom that can be noticed in some people is a goiter, which is the swelling that occurs on the front part of the neck. A lot of patients assume that they feel tired because of stress, but it is entirely possible that there is also a health condition causing the fatigue, such as hypothyroidism. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to consult a specialist if you suffer from the mentioned symptoms.

When it comes to the origins of this condition, in the majority of cases, it is caused by the lack of iodine. Another reason for the decreased levels of thyroid hormone in people living in the areas where they consume enough iodine on a daily basis is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease that destroys the thyroid gland over time and may lead to the development of goiter. In addition to that, there are some other causes of hypothyroidism, such as the previous thyroid surgery, consumption of certain drugs, hypothalamus injury, and more, but they are significantly less common. Generally, women are more prone to suffering from hypothyroidism, and the same applies to the people over the age of 60.

As it was mentioned, most people develop hypothyroidism because of the lack of iodine in their diets, which means that prevention of this problem plays an essential role. One of the easiest ways to consume more iodine is using iodized salt. But, when the condition is already present, it’s important to consult a professional so that you can start the right treatment and make sure that your condition doesn’t progress.

What is Synthroid?

What is SynthroidSynthroid is a drug featuring the active ingredient levothyroxine, and it is used as the replacement for thyroid hormone, which is responsible for the regulation of metabolism in the body. This medication is prescribed once a patient undergoes the blood test to determine the level of the thyroid-stimulating hormone and thyroxine. If the levels are decreased, and there are no contraindications, Synthroid can be prescribed. The drug is effective at treating and preventing goiter, which is a problem that often accompanies hypothyroidism.

Once you are prescribed Synthroid, it’s important that you buy only the drug of the highest quality so that your long-term treatment can be successful. At Online Canadian Pharmacy, you can always purchase this medication at the most affordable price while also being confident in its safety, quality, and effectiveness.

Precautions before taking Synthroid

The first step before you start taking any medication is to determine whether it is suitable and safe for you. During your consultation, you should provide a medical specialist with the detailed information regarding the state of your health and any health problems that you suffer from. Also, you should undergo the physical examination and laboratory tests as recommended by your medical advisor to ensure that Synthroid is the right drug for you.

Some of the health conditions that may prevent you from consuming the drug depending on their severity include:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Anemia
  • Blood clots
  • Heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease, angina
  • Recent heart attack
  • Certain food and medication allergies
  • Pituitary gland conditions
  • Adrenal gland disorder

You should not begin your treatment using Synthroid without consulting your doctor first, as you cannot accurately assess your risks. Synthroid should never be used as the weight-loss drug if you don’t suffer from hypothyroidism as such irresponsible use of the drug can lead to severe adverse reactions.

Major and minor side effects of Synthroid

In the majority of cases, if you follow all the precautions and take Synthroid only as prescribed by a medical specialist, you can avoid the majority of side effects. At the same time, it’s important to be aware of them and take the appropriate measures when needed. If you experience an allergic reaction to medication, you may get the symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, hives, rash, chest pain, runny nose, or others. In this case, you should stop taking the drug immediately and get medical help.

Just like with any other medications, side effects while taking Synthroid can be subdivided into several categories depending on how common and severe they are.

When it comes to minor side effects, they are more common when you only start taking the medication and your body is still in the process of adjustment. At the same time, you should always mention these symptoms to your medical advisor in case you may require a different dosage to continue the treatment.

Minor side effects that are experienced by some patients include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Fear
  • Restlessness
  • Mood changes
  • Tiredness
  • Weight changes
  • Depressive states
  • Nervousness
  • Headache
  • Unusual emotional reactions
  • Muscle weakness

If any of the mentioned symptoms persist after you take the medication several times, you should inform your medical advisor as you may require some adjustments in your treatment.

Major side effects that are occasionally experienced by some patients taking Synthroid include:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing and chest pain
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Increased sweating
  • Irregular and/or fast heartbeat
  • Tremor
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Decreased urination

Major adverse reactions that occur rarely include:

  • Dizziness
  • Severe migraines
  • Eye pain
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Pain in the knee or hip

The symptoms that can be experienced from overdosing may include:

  • Coordination problems
  • Disorientation
  • Severe dizziness
  • Cold skin
  • Slurring of speech
  • Fainting

If you overdose on Synthroid, you need to get emergency medical help straight away.

Drug and food interactions

Drug and food interactions

Before taking any drug, including Synthroid, it is essential to remember about the potential drug and food interactions so that the treatment is as effective as it can be.

When it comes to the medications and supplements that should not be taken around the same time as Synthroid, as they can interfere with its absorption, they include:

  • Colestipol
  • Antacids
  • Simethicone
  • Orlistat
  • Sucralfate
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Raloxifene
  • Sodium polystyrene

If you need to take any of these medications or supplements, you should consume them at least 4 hours before or after taking Synthroid to avoid the interaction. This is not a complete list of drugs that can interact with Synthroid, which is why it’s essential that you mention any vitamins, supplements, and drugs that you take during your consultation with a medical professional.

In addition to that, there are some medications that can affect the amount of Synthroid that you need while taking them. As a result, you may require an increase in the dosage. But, such adjustment can only be made after taking blood tests and consulting a professional.

Such drugs include:

  • Estrogens
  • Certain seizure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Rifampin

Another type of interaction that can occur is when the influence of Synthroid makes other drugs less effective, which means that you will require an increase in the dosage of these medications.

Some of the drugs that can be affected include:

  • Theophylline
  • Digoxin
  • Diabetes drugs

When it comes to the foods that can affect the absorption of Synthroid, you should make sure that you don’t eat fiber, walnuts, and soybean flour at the same time while taking the drug.

Synthroid: finding the right dosage

The main goal of the Synthroid replacement treatment is to achieve a needed balance of hormones and ensure that it continues to remain on that level. There are a lot of factors that should be taken into consideration when determining the right dosage of Synthroid, such as the weight, age, various health problems, and more. For this reason, the correct dosage can be selected only by a medical professional. It is essential to be especially careful when determining the dosage of Synthroid for the patients suffering from certain cardiovascular issues and adrenal problems.

Patients that are younger than 50 years old and not suffering from any diseases that require the adjustment of how much Synthroid they can take are generally prescribed full doses. The standard complete dose of this medication is about 1.7 mcg/kg a day. In some cases, patients will be prescribed the lower dosage of 1 mcg/kg a day to assess their reactions to the drug. Patients over the age of 50 can be prescribed a full dosage if they have suffered from hypothyroid for a short period of time or have recently undergone the hyperthyroidism treatment.

The next category includes the people diagnosed with certain cardiovascular conditions and requiring lower dosages of Synthroid. In this case, the average starting dose of this medication is 25-50 mcg a day. If needed, the dosage can be increased, but this process should be done gradually over several weeks. The patients over the age of 50 and suffering from the cardiac disease are usually recommended to take 12.5-25 mcg of Synthroid a day. This initial dosage can also be increased over 5-6 weeks if a medical specialist finds it appropriate.

It should be noted that these dosage guidelines have to be viewed only as general recommendations. Every patient is different, and only a medical advisor is able to determine the right dosage based on the individual’s health, weight, age, and other parameters.

Synthroid: how should you consume the drug?

The pill of Synthroid should be taken by mouth on an empty stomach about 30 minutes to an hour before your breakfast. You should swallow the medication with a glass of water without crushing or chewing the pill. The dosage of the drug should always be determined by a medical professional, and it’s important that you do not exceed it as it can lead to the side effects.

If you cannot swallow the pill or you need to give it to a child, you have an option of crushing it and mixing with a teaspoon of water. It’s important that you do this right before the consumption. It is best to take this drug at the same time every day so that you can don’t forget about it and the concentration of this drug in your body is constant.

You should not stop taking the drug suddenly or increase the dosage without consulting a doctor first.

Synthroid storage recommendations

Storing your drugs the right way is something you should never overlook as only the medications in the best condition will bring you the desired effect. Synthroid should be kept in the original packaging at the room temperature and away from the sources of heat and moisture, which can negatively affect the drug and make it expire faster. Also, you have to make sure that Synthroid is kept in a place where it cannot be reached by children and pets.