1. What’s levothyroxine
Levothyroxine is a medication used to deal with an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). The thyroid gland makes thyroid hormone which helps to manage power ranges and progress. Levothyroxine is taken to interchange the lacking thyroid hormone. Levothyroxine is barely obtainable on prescription. It comes as tablets or as a liquid that you simply drink.
2. Key info
- Levothyroxine begins working right away, however it could be a number of weeks earlier than your signs begin to enhance.
- The most typical unwanted side effects of levothyroxine are brought on by taking a much bigger dose than you want. Your physician can decrease your dose to assist scale back any unwanted side effects.
- Earlier than you begin taking levothyroxine, your physician will do a blood take a look at to see what dose you want. When you begin taking the medication you may have common blood exams to see how effectively it is working.
- Levothyroxine doses should be rigorously monitored throughout being pregnant. For those who’re planning to grow to be pregnant or assume chances are you’ll be pregnant whereas taking levothyroxine, it is vital to go to your physician to ensure you get the right look after you and your child.
3. Who can and can’t take levothyroxine
Levothyroxine will be taken by adults and kids. Nonetheless, levothyroxine will not be appropriate for some individuals.
Don’t take levothyroxine and return to your physician to debate your remedy when you’ve got:
- had an allergic response to levothyroxine or another medicines prior to now
- an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- a well being downside that impacts your adrenal glands (your physician will be capable of let you know if you happen to’re undecided)
Examine along with your physician earlier than taking levothyroxine when you’ve got:
- a coronary heart downside together with angina, coronary heart illness or coronary heart failure
- had a coronary heart assault
- diabetes – the dose of your diabetes medication might have to alter as a result of levothyroxine can elevate blood sugar ranges
4. How and when to take levothyroxine
Take levothyroxine as soon as a day within the morning, ideally a minimum of half-hour earlier than having breakfast or a drink containing caffeine, like tea or espresso.
Meals and caffeinated drinks can each cease your physique taking in levothyroxine correctly so it doesn’t work as effectively. For those who cease taking levothyroxine your signs are more likely to come again.
- Chances are you’ll have to take a number of totally different tablets to make up your dose.
- Levothyroxine is available in 25 microgram, 50 microgram and 100 microgram tablets.
- The phrase microgram is typically written with the Greek image μ adopted by the letter g (μg). A microgram is 1,000 instances smaller than a milligram (mg).
- Your physician will let you know what number of tablets to take every day.
- The dose of levothyroxine varies from individual to individual.
- Though beginning doses are often the identical, the dose of levothyroxine you find yourself taking, or how shortly the dose is elevated, is determined by your signs, hormone ranges, age and whether or not you might have another well being issues.
- Adults often begin with a dose between 50 micrograms and 100 micrograms taken as soon as a day. This can be elevated regularly over a couple of weeks to between 100 micrograms and 200 micrograms taken as soon as a day.
- Some individuals, corresponding to over-50s or individuals with coronary heart illness, might begin on a decrease dose.
- For those who’re taking levothyroxine as a liquid, 5mls has 25 micrograms, 50 micrograms or 100 micrograms in it.
Find out how to take it
Swallow the tablets complete with a drink of water. Levothyroxine is accessible as a liquid for kids and individuals who discover it troublesome to swallow tablets.
For those who or your youngster are taking levothyroxine as a liquid, it’s going to often be made up for you by the pharmacist. It would include a plastic syringe or spoon that will help you measure out the proper dose.
For those who shouldn’t have a syringe or measuring spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. Don’t use a kitchen teaspoon because it won’t give the correct amount.
What if I neglect to take it?
For those who neglect to take a dose, take it as quickly as you bear in mind, except it is nearly time in your subsequent dose. Wherein case simply skip the forgotten dose. Don’t take 2 doses collectively to make up for a missed dose.
For those who neglect usually doses, it could assist to set an alarm to remind you. You may additionally ask your pharmacist for recommendation on different methods that will help you bear in mind to take your medication.
What if I take an excessive amount of?
Taking an additional dose of levothyroxine accidentally is unlikely to hurt you. Communicate to your physician if:
- you unintentionally take greater than 1 further dose
- you get unwanted side effects corresponding to a racing coronary heart beat or chest ache – these might not occur right away, it may be a number of days earlier than they arrive on
Your physician will do common blood exams to test the degrees of thyroid hormones in your physique earlier than and after beginning levothyroxine. These will permit your physician to regulate the dose to go well with you.
Initially of remedy you possibly can anticipate to have blood exams usually. As soon as your hormone ranges are steady, you may often have a blood take a look at after 4 to six months, and after that annually. Chances are you’ll want blood exams extra usually if you happen to:
- are pregnant
- begin or cease a medication that may intrude with levothyroxine
- have any signs that would imply your dose will not be fairly proper
5. Negative effects
Like all medicines, levothyroxine may cause unwanted side effects, though not everybody will get them. As soon as you’re on the proper dose of levothyroxine, unwanted side effects ought to go away.
Widespread unwanted side effects and self-help recommendation
The widespread unwanted side effects of levothyroxine often occur as a result of the dose you take is greater than you want. These unwanted side effects often go away after you go on to a decrease dose of levothyroxine or cease remedy.
Widespread unwanted side effects are the identical because the signs of an overactive thyroid. Speak to your physician or pharmacist if these unwanted side effects hassle you or don’t go away.
- Feeling sick
- Follow easy meals and don’t eat wealthy or spicy meals.
- Being sick (vomiting) or diarrhoea
Drink loads of water to stop dehydration. For those who’re being sick attempt small, frequent sips. Communicate to a pharmacist when you’ve got indicators of dehydration, corresponding to peeing lower than regular or having darkish, strong-smelling pee. For those who get extreme diarrhoea or vomiting from a abdomen bug or sickness, inform your physician.
Ensure you relaxation and drink loads of fluids. Don’t drink an excessive amount of alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to suggest a painkiller. Complications ought to often go away after the primary week of taking levothyroxine. Speak to your physician in the event that they last more than per week or are extreme.
Feeling stressed or excitable, or issues sleeping
These signs ought to enhance as your physique will get used to levothyroxine. If it doesn’t go away, or if it is inflicting you issues, contact your physician.
Flushing or sweating
Strive reducing down on espresso, tea and alcohol. It’d assist to maintain the room cool and use a fan. You may additionally spray your face with cool water or sip chilly or iced drinks. The flushing ought to go away after a couple of days. If it doesn’t go away, or if it is inflicting you issues, contact your physician.
For those who get uncommon muscle ache, which isn’t from train or exhausting work, speak to your physician. Chances are you’ll want a blood take a look at to search out the trigger.
Shaking, often of the palms
Speak to your physician as chances are you’ll have to have your dose lowered.
Critical unwanted side effects
It occurs hardly ever, however some individuals might have critical unwanted side effects when taking levothyroxine.
Name a health care provider right away if you happen to get:
- chest ache
- quick or irregular heartbeats, or palpitations
Critical allergic response
In uncommon circumstances, it is potential to have a critical allergic response (anaphylaxis) to levothyroxine.
Speedy motion required:
- you get a pores and skin rash that will embrace itchy, pink, swollen, blistered or peeling pores and skin
- you are wheezing
- you get tightness within the chest or throat
- you might have hassle respiration or speaking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat begin swelling
You may be having a critical allergic response and might have speedy remedy in hospital. These aren’t all of the unwanted side effects of levothyroxine. For a full listing see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.
6. Being pregnant and breastfeeding
Levothyroxine and being pregnant
Levothyroxine is often protected to absorb being pregnant. It is vital to hold on taking levothyroxine all through your being pregnant. Having too low or too excessive ranges of thyroid hormone in being pregnant may cause issues for you and your child.
You may have to have common blood exams throughout being pregnant to ensure you’re on the proper dose of levothyroxine for you and your child. Most girls have to take the next dose of levothyroxine than regular whereas they’re pregnant.
Levothyroxine and breastfeeding
It is often protected to breastfeed when you’re on levothyroxine. Thyroid hormones cross into breast milk in very low ranges which can be too small to have an effect on the child. For those who’re breastfeeding, it is vital that you simply proceed to take levothyroxine. Your physique wants good ranges of thyroid hormones to make sufficient breast milk to feed your child.
Non-urgent recommendation: Inform your physician if you happen to’re:
- making an attempt to get pregnant
7. Cautions with different medicines
Some medicines can intrude with thyroid hormones, so the dose of levothyroxine might should be modified. They embrace:
- medicines for matches or seizures – corresponding to carbamazepine and phenytoin
- oestrogens – corresponding to in mixed contraceptive capsules or hormone alternative remedy (HRT)
Levothyroxine can change how different medicines work, so their doses might should be altered. These medicines embrace:
- medicines for diabetes – both insulin or tablets
- the blood thinning medication, warfarin
Some medicines shouldn’t be taken on the identical time of day as levothyroxine as they’ll scale back the quantity of levothyroxine your physique takes in, together with:
- calcium salts
- iron salts
- orlistat, a medication used for weight reduction
- sucralfate, a medication used to deal with abdomen ulcers
- some cholesterol-lowering medicines corresponding to colestyramine, colestipol or colesevelem
Learn the data leaflet provided with these medicines or communicate to your pharmacist for recommendation on how a lot time to go away between taking these medicines and taking levothyroxine.
Mixing levothyroxine with natural cures and dietary supplements
There’s little or no info What’s taking natural cures and dietary supplements with levothyroxine.
Inform your physician or pharmacist if you happen to’re taking another medicines, together with natural medicines, nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements.
8. Widespread questions What’s levothyroxine
How does levothyroxine work?
The thyroid gland in your neck makes a hormone known as thyroxine. Thyroxine controls how a lot power your physique makes use of (the metabolic charge). It is also concerned in digestion, how your coronary heart and muscle tissues work, mind improvement and bone well being.
When the thyroid gland doesn't make sufficient thyroxine (known as hypothyroidism), lots of the physique's features decelerate. A few of the most typical signs of an underactive thyroid gland are:
Levothyroxine is an artificial model of thyroxine. You are taking levothyroxine tablets to interchange the thyroxine that your thyroid gland can't produce and stop the signs of hypothyroidism.
How lengthy does levothyroxine take to work?
Levothyroxine begins working right away, however it could be a number of weeks earlier than your signs begin to enhance and you are feeling any totally different.
How lengthy will I take levothyroxine for?
Therapy with levothyroxine is often lifelong. For those who cease taking levothyroxine your signs are more likely to come again.
Is levothyroxine protected to take for a very long time?
Sure, it is protected to take levothyroxine for a very long time, even a few years. Excessive doses of levothyroxine over a very long time can generally trigger weakening of the bones (osteoporosis). This could not occur if you're on the proper dose. It is vital to have common blood exams to verify your dose will not be too excessive.
Will it have an effect on my fertility?
There is no clear proof to recommend that taking levothyroxine will scale back fertility in both males or ladies. Nonetheless, communicate to a pharmacist or your physician if you happen to're making an attempt to get pregnant. They might need to evaluation your remedy.
Alkohola edan al dezaket horrekin?
Sure, you possibly can drink alcohol whereas taking levothyroxine. Alcohol doesn't have an effect on how this medication works.
Will it make me drop some weight?
One of many signs of an underactive thyroid gland is weight acquire. So, when you begin taking levothyroxine, chances are you'll drop some weight as your physique's hormones rebalance. Shedding pounds may also be an indication that your dose of levothyroxine is simply too excessive. As soon as your thyroid hormone ranges have returned to regular, your tendency to realize or drop some weight is identical as for individuals who shouldn't have thyroid issues.
Can I drive or trip a motorbike with it?
Sure, levothyroxine shouldn't have an effect on your capacity to drive or trip a motorbike.
Is there any meals or drink I have to keep away from?
There are some meals and drinks that don't combine effectively with levothyroxine:
-drinks containing caffeine, like espresso, tea and a few fizzy drinks, can scale back the quantity of levothyroxine your physique takes in. Depart a minimum of half-hour after taking levothyroxine earlier than you drink them.
-calcium-rich meals, corresponding to milk, cheese, yoghurt and broccoli, can scale back the quantity of levothyroxine your physique takes in. Depart a minimum of 4 hours between taking levothyroxine and consuming calcium-rich meals.
-soya in meals and dietary supplements might cease levothyroxine working correctly. For those who frequently eat soya or take soya dietary supplements your physician would possibly have to do further blood exams to ensure you're getting sufficient levothyroxine.
kelp (a kind of seaweed) can comprise excessive ranges of iodine, which generally makes an underactive thyroid worse. Don't take dietary supplements containing kelp if you happen to're taking levothyroxine.
Can I get thyroid medicines free of charge?
When you've got an underactive thyroid, you are entitled to free prescriptions for your entire medicines (not simply your levothyroxine). To assert your free prescriptions you may have to have a medical exemption certificates.
The applying type for the medical exemption certificates is known as FP92A. You will get this out of your physician's surgical procedure. You'll need to fill within the type, then your physician will signal it and ship it off.
Will it have an effect on my contraception?
Contraceptive capsules that comprise oestrogen (mixed contraceptive capsules) can scale back the quantity of levothyroxine in your physique. Communicate to your physician if you happen to begin or cease taking the Capsule – your dose of levothyroxine might have to alter.
Will I lose my hair?
It is having an underactive thyroid that causes hair loss – not remedy with levothyroxine.
As a result of the pure hair progress cycle takes a number of months, hair loss associated to thyroid illness would possibly solely be seen months after the sickness has begun. If remedy with levothyroxine has already began, it could appear to be the medication – fairly than the underlying sickness – is inflicting the hair loss. Hair often regrows after remedy with levothyroxine, however it could take many months.
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- HealthUnlocked: levothyroxine discussion board
- British Thyroid Basis: charity
- Thyroid UK: charity
- You and your hormones: medical info