Drugs & Diseases Information

Levoxine

Levoxine Ingredients: Levothyroxine
Representative Names: Eltroxin, Levothroid, Levoxine, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid
Generic Available ?  A generic alternative may be available. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Who is Levoxine for ?


Levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone, 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, levothyroxine reverses these symptoms. Levothyroxine also is used to treat congenital hypothyroidism (cretinism) and goiter (enlarged thyroid gland). this medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How does it work ?


The exact mechanism of action is not known, but it is thought that levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone, restores thyroid hormone that your body may be lacking.

When should I be careful taking Levoxine ?


Thyroid hormone should not be used to treat obesity in patients with normal thyroid function. Levothyroxine is ineffective for weight reduction in normal thyroid patients and may cause serious or life-threatening toxicity, especially when taken with amphetamines. Talk to your doctor about the potential risks associated with this medication.

Before taking levothyroxine,

- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to levothyroxine, thyroid hormone, any other drugs, povidone iodine, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and drugs), or foods such as lactose or corn starch. Levothroid and Eltroxin contain lactose, while Synthroid contains tartrazine and povidone. Eltroxin contains corn starch.

- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially amphetamines; anti-acids; anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin); antidepressants or anti-anxiety agents; arthritis medicine; aspirin; beta-blockers such as metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), propranolol (Inderal) or timolol (Blocadren, Timoptic); cancer chemotherapy agents; cholesterol-lowering resins such as cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid); diabetes medications (insulin and tablets); digoxin (Lanoxin); estrogens; iron; methadone; oral contraceptives; phenytoin (Dilantin); sodium polystrene sulfonate (Kayexalate); sucralfate (Carafate); steroids; theophylline (TheoDur); and vitamins.

- if you take cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid), take it at least 4 hours before or 1 hour after taking levothyroxine.

- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes; hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis); kidney disease; hepatitis; cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), arrhythmias, or heart attack; or an underactive adrenal or pituitary gland.

- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking levothyroxine, call your doctor.

- if you have surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking levothyroxine.

Side Effects


Although side effects from levothyroxine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

- 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

- temporary hair loss, particularly in children during the first month of therapy

If you experience either of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

- chest pain (angina)

- rapid or irregular heartbeat or pulse
 


 


 
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