Synthroid, also known as levothyroxine sodium, is a prescription medication that is used to treat an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Synthroid belongs to a class of drugs known as thyroid hormones. It works by replacing or providing more thyroid hormone, which is normally produced by the thyroid gland. This medication helps to regulate the body’s metabolism and energy levels.
Synthroid is available in tablet form for oral administration and comes in various strengths. The dosage may vary depending on the individual’s age, weight, and the severity of their condition. It is important to take Synthroid exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional.
When Not to Take Synthroid
Synthroid should not be taken if an individual has a known allergy or hypersensitivity to levothyroxine sodium or any of the inactive ingredients present in the medication. Allergic reactions to Synthroid may include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
Additionally, individuals with uncorrected adrenal insufficiency, untreated thyrotoxicosis (excessive thyroid hormone levels), or acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) are advised not to take Synthroid.
Common side effects of Synthroid may include hair loss, headache, nervousness, irritability, sleep disturbances, increased appetite, weight loss, and menstrual irregularities. These side effects are usually mild and temporary. However, if they persist or become severe, it is important to consult a healthcare professional.
In rare cases, severe allergic reactions to Synthroid may occur, characterized by symptoms such as skin rash or hives, severe itching, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, and difficulty breathing or swallowing. Immediate medical attention should be sought if any of these symptoms are experienced.
Synthroid should be taken once a day on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast. This is because food can interfere with the absorption of the medication. It is important to swallow the tablet whole and not crush or chew it.
If a dose of Synthroid is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. However, if it is close to the time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the regular dosing schedule resumed. Double doses to make up for a missed dose should be avoided.
An overdose of Synthroid can lead to symptoms such as chest pain, rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, tremors, confusion, or seizures. If an overdose is suspected, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately.
Synthroid and Concomitant Drugs
Synthroid can interact with certain medications, altering their effects or causing adverse reactions. Some drugs that may interact with Synthroid include, but are not limited to:
|Drug||Effect of Interaction|
|Warfarin (Coumadin)||Increased risk of bleeding|
|Antacids||Reduced absorption of Synthroid|
|Cholestyramine||Reduced absorption of Synthroid|
|Proton pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole)||Reduced absorption of Synthroid|
Can Synthroid be taken during pregnancy?
Synthroid is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy. However, the dosage may need to be adjusted. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for individualized guidance.
Can Synthroid be taken with other medications?
Synthroid can interact with certain drugs, so it is important to inform the healthcare professional about all medications being taken. They can determine if any adjustments are necessary.
How long does it take for Synthroid to start working?
It may take several weeks for the full effects of Synthroid to be seen. Regular monitoring and follow-up with a healthcare professional are important to ensure the correct dosage is being taken.
Are there any dietary restrictions while taking Synthroid?
It is generally recommended to avoid excessive consumption of foods high in fiber, as they may decrease the absorption of Synthroid. It is important to follow a balanced diet, but specific dietary restrictions should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
Can Synthroid be taken with other supplements?
Synthroid may interact with certain supplements, such as iron or calcium supplements. It is important to inform the healthcare professional about all supplements being taken to avoid potential interactions.