Levothyroxine

generic for Euthyrox

What is Levothyroxine?

Common Brand(s): Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid

Levothyroxine is used to treat an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). It replaces or provides more thyroid hormone, which is normally produced by the thyroid gland. Low thyroid hormone levels can occur naturally or when the thyroid gland is injured by radiation/medications or removed by surgery. Having enough thyroid hormone is important for maintaining normal mental and physical activity. In children, having enough thyroid hormone is important for normal mental and physical development.

This medication is also used to treat other types of thyroid disorders (such as certain types of goiters, thyroid cancer).

This medication should not be used to treat infertility unless it is caused by low thyroid hormone levels.

Uses

  • hypothyroidism
  • adjunct to surgery or radiotherapy for thyroid carcinoma

Usage Instructions

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking levothyroxine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily on an empty stomach, 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast. Take this medication with a full glass of water unless your doctor directs you otherwise.

If you are taking the capsule form of this medication, swallow it whole. Do not split, crush, or chew. People who cannot swallow the capsule whole (such as infants or small children) should use the tablet form of the medication.

For infants or children who cannot swallow whole tablets, crush the tablet and mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 milliliters) of water, and give using a spoon or dropper right away. Do not prepare a supply in advance or mix the tablet in soy infant formula. Consult your pharmacist for more information.

Dosage is based on your age, weight, medical condition, laboratory test results, and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting with your doctor. Thyroid replacement treatment is usually taken for life.

There are different brands of levothyroxine available. Do not change brands without first consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

Certain medications (such as cholestyramine, colestipol, colesevelam, antacids, sucralfate, simethicone, iron, sodium polystyrene sulfonate, calcium supplements, orlistat, sevelamer, among others) can decrease the amount of thyroid hormone that is absorbed by your body. If you are taking any of these drugs, separate them from this medication by at least 4 hours.

Symptoms of low thyroid hormone levels include tiredness, muscle aches, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, slow heartbeat, or sensitivity to cold. Tell your doctor if your condition worsens or persists after several weeks of taking this medication.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.