Synthroid

Generic Name: Levothyroxine
Brand Name: Synthroid

What is Synthroid?

Synthroid is a replacement for a hormone that is normally produced by your thyroid gland to regulate the body's energy and metabolism. Synthroid is given when the thyroid does not produce enough of this hormone on its own.

Synthroid treats hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). Synthroid is also used to treat or prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), which can be caused by hormone imbalances, radiation treatment, surgery, or cancer. It should not be used to treat obesity or weight problems.

Synthroid may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Synthroid

Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take Synthroid. You should not use this medication if you have had a heart attack, a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.

Before taking Synthroid, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, coronary artery disease, anemia (lack of red blood cells), diabetes, problems with your pituitary or adrenal glands, or a history of blood clots.

If you use insulin or take diabetes medicine by mouth, ask your doctor if your dose needs to be changed when you start using Synthroid.

Different brands of levothyroxine may not work the same. If you get a prescription refill and your new pills look different, talk with your pharmacist or doctor.

It may take several weeks before your body starts to respond to this medication. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly. Even if you feel well, you may still need to take this medicine every day for the rest of your life to replace the thyroid hormone your body cannot produce.

There are many other medicines that can affect Synthroid. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Before taking Synthroid

Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take Synthroid. You should not use this medication if you have had a heart attack, a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.

Before taking Synthroid, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, coronary artery disease, anemia (lack of red blood cells), diabetes, problems with your pituitary or adrenal glands, or a history of blood clots.

If you use insulin or take diabetes medicine by mouth, ask your doctor if your dose needs to be changed when you start using Synthroid.

Synthroid is in the FDA pregnancy category A. This means that it is safe to use while you are pregnant. It is also safe to use while you are breast-feeding a baby. This drug does pass into breast milk, but it is not expected to be harmful to a nursing infant.

Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. You may need to increase your dose during pregnancy or if you plan to breast-feed.

In most cases, you will need to take Synthroid for the rest of your life. Taking Synthroid over long periods of time may cause bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about how this could affect you.

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