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What is Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine)?
Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is a type of medication called "levothyroxine sodium". Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) supplies your body with a synthetic hormone to replace the thyroid hormone your body is not producing effectively.
What is Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) used for?
Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Without this hormone, the body cannot function properly, resulting in poor growth, slow speech, lack of energy, weight gain, hair loss, dry thick skin, and increased sensitivity to cold. When taken correctly, generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) reverses these symptoms. Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is also used to treat congenital hypothyroidism (cretinism) and goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) comes in 12 different doses so your doctor can match the precise dose that your body needs. The goal of your thyroid treatment is to establish and maintain the right level of thyroid hormone in your body, and your doctor has chosen Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) to help achieve that goal.
Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) Facts
Active ingredient: levothyroxine sodium
Other Ingredients: 10 mg mannitol, USP, sodium hydroxide, 0.7 mg tribasic sodium phosphate, anhydrous.
Class and mechanism: Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is a synthetic (man-made) version of the principle thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T4), that is made and released by the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone increases the metabolic rate of cells of all tissues in the body. In the fetus and newborn, thyroid hormone is important for the growth and development of all tissues including bones and the brain. In adults, thyroid hormone helps to maintain brain function, food metabolism, and body temperature, among other effects.
Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) Storage
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
How to take Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine)?
Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day on an empty stomach, 1/2 to 1 hour before breakfast. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is usually started at 0.05 mg/day. Starting doses and dose changes may differ with individual patients based upon the presence of cardiovascular disease, the development of tolerance (reduced effectiveness with continued use), side effects to the medication, and blood levels of thyroid hormone. It may take one to three weeks after initiating therapy with levothyroxine or changing the dose before effects are seen.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
OVERDOSE: Excessive doses of levothyroxine sodium result in a hypermetabolic state indistinguishable from thyrotoxicosis of endogenous origin. Signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis include weight loss, increased appetite, palpitations, nervousness, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, sweating, tachycardia, increased pulse and blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, tremors, insomnia, heat intolerance, fever, and menstrual irregularities. Symptoms are not always evident or may not appear until several days after ingestion.
Note: Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) should be reduced in dose or temporarily discontinued if signs and symptoms of overdosage appear.
Who should not take Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine)?
Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take this drug. In general, Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) should not be taken if you have other hormonal problems that are not being adequately treated.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have a heart disease such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, or angina. These conditions may be affected by thyroid therapy, and closer monitoring may be necessary at the start of therapy.
Changes in blood sugar may occur if you have diabetes, and special monitoring may be necessary.
Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is in the FDA pregnancy category A. This means that Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is safe for use during pregnancy. It is also safe to take thyroid hormones if 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.
What side effects may occur?
SIDE EFFECTS that may occur while taking this medication includes weight loss, tremor, headache, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, excessive sweating, increased appetite, fever, changes in menstrual cycle, sensitivity to heat and temporary hair loss. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.
Some medications and foods can interfere with the effectiveness of your thyroid medication or your overall treatment - these are called "drug and food interactions".
Make sure your doctor or healthcare provider has a complete list of all prescription medications, vitamins, or over-the-counter medications you are currently taking. In some cases, your condition or therapy may need additional monitoring. Your doctor may ask you to take your thyroid medication at a different time of the day, separately from some medications, to avoid potential interactions.
Initiation or discontinuation of therapy with Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) in diabetic patients may create a need for an increase or decrease in the required dose of antidiabetic drug Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) may increase the effect of blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin). Therefore, monitoring of blood clotting is necessary, and a decrease in the dose of warfarin may be necessary.
Taking l Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) at the same time as cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid), two cholesterol-lowering drugs, may decrease the effect of levothyroxine and lead to hypothyroidism. This occurs because the levothyroxine binds to the cholesterol-lowering drugs and is not absorbed. Taking the Generic Synthroid (Levothyroxine) one hour before or four hours after cholestyramine or colestipol is necessary to prevent the binding.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to levothyroxine Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
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