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Product Overview

Levothyroxine (generic Synthroid)

  • What is levothyroxine?
    Levothyroxine (generic for Synthroid) is a prescription drug used to treat thyroid conditions. It is a hormone replacement drug often prescribed to treat hypothyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid does not properly produce enough thyroid hormone to regulate your metabolism and weight. In some cases, levothyroxine is used as part of thyroid cancer treatment plans.

  • What are common side effects of levothyroxine?
    While adverse reactions to levothyroxine are rare, some patients who take the drug may experience mild side effects, including hair loss.

    Rare, more serious adverse events have been known to occur, including arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, dyspnea, muscle spasm, headache, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, tremors, muscle weakness, increased appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, heat intolerance, menstrual irregularities, and skin rash. The risk of these can be lowered by close monitoring by your clinician. Contact your doctor if you are concerned that levothyroxine is causing any of these side effects.

    This is not a complete list of side effects. For more information on adverse effects you may experience while taking levothyroxine, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.

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Do you have more question

Frequently asked questions about levothyroxine

What is levothyroxine?

Levothyroxine is a prescription medication used to treat thyroid conditions. It is a hormone replacement drug usually prescribed to treat hypothyroidism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough thyroid hormone to properly regulate your metabolism and weight. Levothyroxine may also be prescribed to help treat thyroid cancer.

Hypothyroidism affects almost 5% of the U.S. population. Without the proper amount of thyroid hormone, people with hypothyroidism often suffer from fatigue, poor growth, constipation, weight gain, hair loss, muscle pain, depression, and more.

What is levothyroxine used to treat?

Levothyroxine is generally used to treat thyroid conditions, including hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer.

The thyroid is often referred to as the body’s thermostat; it produces thyroid hormone, the chemical responsible for stabilizing your weight, regulating your metabolism, and maintaining your mental health. People with hypothyroidism can no longer produce this hormone in sufficient quantities, causing a range of health conditions from depression to weight gain. For patients with hypothyroidism, levothyroxine is prescribed to supply the body with the level of thyroid hormone it needs. Levothyroxine supplements - and in some cases, completely replaces - your body’s diminished supply of thyroid hormone, helping you feel like yourself again.

Alongside surgery and radioiodine therapy, levothyroxine is sometimes prescribed to help treat thyroid cancer.

There are some thyroid conditions, however, that levothyroxine is not approved to treat. These include benign thyroid nodules, goiters, and subacute thyroiditis.

How does levothyroxine work?

Levothyroxine treats hypothyroidism by supplying the body directly with thyroid hormone, a natural chemical responsible for regulating your body’s metabolism. People with hypothyroidism can no longer produce this hormone, leading to a host of health problems. Levothyroxine acts as a stand-in for your underactive thyroid gland, helping supply the necessary amount of thyroid hormone to your body.

What are the most common side effects of levothyroxine?

While levothyroxine may cause you to experience some adverse side effects, it is important to remember that your doctor prescribed levothyroxine because its ability to stabilize thyroid hormones in your body outweighs the side effects it may produce.

You may experience some hair loss as you begin taking levothyroxine. This is temporary and does not generally persist as you continue taking levothyroxine.

Rare but serious side effects may include:

Arrhythmias Myocardial infarction (heart attack) Dyspnea Muscle spasm Headache Nervousness Irritability Insomnia Tremors Muscle weakness Increased appetite Weight loss Diarrhea Heat intolerance Menstrual irregularities Skin rash

Notify your doctor if you experience any of these adverse effects.

How long does it take for levothyroxine to work?

The amount of time it takes for levothyroxine to take effect depends on a variety of factors, including your age, body weight, and cardiovascular health. In general, most people start to feel better within 4-6 weeks of starting levothyroxine. It is important to keep taking your scheduled dosage, even if you do not immediately feel its effects. Consult your doctor before stopping levothyroxine.

What is the typical starting dose of levothyroxine?

Levothyroxine is usually taken once daily, ideally before breakfast, on an empty stomach. Your doctor will recommend a starting dose of levothyroxine based on the severity of your thyroid condition as well as your age, weight, and cardiovascular health. Levothyroxine is typically produced in tablets ranging from 25 to 300 mcg.

Can I get levothyroxine online?

Yep! Get medication delivered right to your door with free and fast delivery - without insurance. Our fully-integrated prescription service lets your doctor write you a prescription (or refill an existing one) during your visit. That way, you can focus on getting better and not worry about how and when you’ll get your prescription.

Please note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your doctor.

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