Synthroid is a prescribed drug that is used by medical professionals to replace a hormone that the thyroid gland produces and uses to regulate energy and metabolism in the body. Patients whose thyroids do not produce enough of this hormone on their own use Synthroid to make up the difference.
What is Synthroid used for?
Synthroid, also known as levothyroxine, is primarily used to treat hypothyroidism, which is a situation where the body simply fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. Low thyroid hormone levels can occur as a result of a number of factors, from illnesses that impact the operations of the thyroid to injuries resulting from radiation exposure.
Sometimes, patients must have their thyroid gland surgically removed, this affecting their body’s ability to manufacture the levels of thyroid hormones necessary to maintain normal physical or mental activity.
For the most part, medical experts will prescribe Synthroid to patients suffering from thyroid disorders such as goiter and certain types of cancer. Synthroid is designed to act as a replacement for those hormones that the thyroid gland produces naturally.
When used properly, the drug should effectively combat the symptoms of low thyroid hormones. Patients dealing with weight gain, lethargy, dry skin and the like will find Synthroid especially useful.
It should be noted that Synthroid takes a while to deliver results. Patients might have to wait several days and even weeks before the drug’s effects begin to manifest.
How to use Synthroid?
Synthroid is taken orally. The medication must be taken as one’s doctor prescribes, though most patients usually take Synthroid once a day. The drug works best on an empty stomach. As such, patients using this drug should push their meals forward by at least thirty minutes or even an hour after taking Synthroid.
Additionally, Synthroid capsules should be taken whole. Patients are discouraged from crushing or chewing them. Individuals that cannot swallow the capsules can always try the tablet format of Synthroid.
The dose you will be expected to take will depend on factors like age and weight, this along with the nature of one’s medical condition and how well or poorly they respond to treatment.
To enjoy all the benefits Synthroid has to offer, patients are encouraged to strictly maintain their treatment regimens, taking the drug at the same time every single day and continuing to take the drug until they are advised to stop by their doctor.
Drugs like Synthroid are usually taken for life.
Does Synthroid interact with other drugs?
As with most medications, certain drugs can interact with the operations of Synthroid, this including sucralfate, iron, colesevelam, calcium supplements and more. A lot of these drugs have a tendency to reduce the quantities of thyroid hormones absorbed by the body.
You should also give blood thinners, digoxin, theophylline and sucroferric oxyhydroxide a wide berth while using Synthroid.
Who shouldn’t use Synthroid?
Individuals who might be allergic to the ingredients of this medication, especially levothyroxine, do not qualify to use Synthroid. This also applies to individuals with a history of heart disease and who have excess amounts of thyroid hormone in their bodies (thyrotoxicosis).
Additionally, the drug might attract some less than pleasant reactions for individuals that have uncorrected adrenal insufficiency, this along with persons suffering from anemia.
The following factors should also be considered before one makes the decision to use this drug:
- Synthroid can cause bones to lose their thickness. As such, individuals with a high risk of osteoporosis should first consult a doctor before taking chances with Synthroid.
- Synthroid is not appropriate for individuals with diabetes. This is because the drug tends to raise blood sugar levels, this increasing the body’s insulin requirements. Patients with diabetes might find that Synthroid use exacerbates their illness.
- Women are encouraged to take Synthroid during pregnancy. The drug regulates their thyroid hormone levels during this period. In other words, Synthroid is safe for use both during and after pregnancy. The drug doesn’t bring harm to babies in the womb or during the breastfeeding process.
- The effects of this drug are heightened among older individuals.
If you miss your Synthroid dose, you can take it as soon as you remember, unless the time for your next dose is very near, in which case you have to skip it. Do not take more Synthroid in any given day than your doctor has prescribed.
If you think you might have overdosed on this drug, contact your doctor immediately, especially when symptoms of an overdose such as chest pain and yellow eyes begin to manifest.