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Levothyroxine Thyroid Medication: Benefits and Side Effects You Need to Know

By    |   Wednesday, 24 February 2016 05:31 PM

Levothyroxine is a thyroid medication designed to benefit hypothyroidism patients by alleviating symptoms, but there are some side effects to note.

Also known as Synthroid, levothyroxine is an artificial hormone made to replace the natural hormone not being produced by the thyroid gland in patient with hypothyroidism.

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MedicineNet.com reports levothyroxine can decrease a goiter, too. A goiter is a bulge that develops on a person’s neck as a result of swelling of thyroid gland when it does too much work. This is not an uncommon side effect for people with hypothyroidism who have overworked thyroid glands due to the thyroid's difficulty in producing the hormones its body needs.

In pregnant women with hypothyroidism, levothyroxine can ensure she produces a sufficient amount of breastmilk, according to Everyday Health. The dosage may be adjusted for pregnant and breastfeeding women, but levothyroxine has shown to be safe for children.

Some of the most severe side effects of the medication include rapid and irregular heartbeat and chest pains. Patients should contact a medical professional immediately if these occur.

Other medical changes linked to the drug include shortness of breath, fever, insomnia, tremors, hair loss, infertility, weight loss, sensitivity to heat, vomiting, diarrhea, and more, according to Everyday Health.

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Long-term usage in women has shown to increase the risk of osteoporosis, the decrease in density of the bones. This may leave the patient more susceptible to fracture.

All patients should speak to their doctors before starting to use levothyroxine, especially if they take other drugs or medications. Levothyroxine interacts with amphetamines, aspirin, blood thinners, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, heart and diabetes medications, anti-seizure drugs, and contraceptives, Everyday Health lists.

People taking calcium or iron supplements and antacids should wait at least four hours after taking levothyroxine, according to Synthroid’s website. The supplements make it difficult for the body to absorb the synthetic hormones.

Serious allergic reactions to levothyroxine are rare, though some preparations of the drug may contain lactose or iodine, Rx List notes.

Overdosing on Synthroid can lead to confusion, stroke, coma, and even death, according to Everyday Health.

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Levothyroxine is a thyroid medication designed to benefit hypothyroidism patients by alleviating symptoms, but there are some side effects to note.
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016 05:31 PM
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