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Active Ingredient: Levothyroxine
Synthroid is the most commonly used drug name for levothyroxine sodium. It is a hormone of the thyroid gland, produced synthetically, which has the same effect as the endogenous hormone thyroxine-4 (T-4). Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating metabolic rate.

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Facts and Uses of Synthroid

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Before taking any medication, you need to know your health status by having a test. It is also important to consult a doctor of the symptoms that you are having. Some symptoms may be similar to different diseases. Additionally, you need to have knowledge of the disease you are suffering from and the measures that you should take. Some medications are not suitable for certain foods or situations in a person. Thus you need to know them.

What is Synthroid?

Synthroid is a medication that is used to treat hypothyroidism. The medication is normally prescribed by a specialist when they have taken a test and found out that you are suffering from hypothyroidism. It does contain levothyroxine sodium which is its active ingredient. Its alternative name is levothyroxine. It is artificially made in the laboratory, and its main therapeutic effect is to help in balancing the thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone is secreted by the thyroid glands, and their levels can fluctuate, leading to hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine is, therefore, an artificial thyroid hormone and thus can be used to treat an enlarged thyroid gland a condition normally termed as goiter.

Directions on the Use of Synthroid

Levothyroxine should not be taken without doctor's prescription and directions. The dosage to be taken may vary according to the level of thyroid hormones that your glands can produce. The drug should be taken when you have not has any meal for better absorption. It is recommended therefore to take the drug just before meals approximately 30 minutes to one hour. All the instructions given by the doctor should be followed strictly. Additionally, consistency in time of taking the drug should be always observed. The drug should always be stored in cool and dry place. It is prohibited to share Synthroid with someone else who may be having the same symptoms as you.


Synthroid dosage is based on so many factors. This is the reason why it should only be taken if prescribed by the doctor and never taken if it is from over-counter buying. The doctor needs to test the levels of your thyroid hormone in your body in order to determine the right dosage. Age is another factor that is considered when determining the amount and frequency of taking the drug. For the young children, the dosage is determined by considering the weight. Thus when a child has thyroid hormone imbalance, he or she needs to be weighed first every time they seek medication.

The Dangers Associated with Wrong Dosing

Overdosing is taking excess drugs than prescribed. The cases that may lead to overdosing is when someone forgets to take the drug at one time and then decides to take double drugs at the next dose time. In case you skip the dose, do not make up for the missed dose, just ignore and continue with the next dose. In the case of Synthroid overdose, you need to see your doctor or any other medical emergency service. Overdosing may even lead to death. Overdosing is associated with varied symptoms, among them, being, chest pains, faster heartbeats, tremors, headaches and poor breathing.

What Makes Synthroid less Effective

Levothyroxine is much affected by so many factors. For the best results, one needs to be very careful so that the drug becomes effective. The major factors that make the drug to work abnormally are the use of other drugs simultaneously with Synthroid. Also some types of food make the drug to be less effective. Normally, for some users it can take time for the drug to be effective in the body, it can take as long as two weeks. When you miss seeing the response, you do not have to stop medication. The following are some of the drugs that should be avoided or taken 4 hours before or after the use of Synthroid drugs:

  • Sucralfate
  • Cholestyramine
  • Antacids, for example, Gaviscon, Mintox, Acid Gone, Mylanta and many others
  • Calcium carbonates including, Tums, Caltrate, Alka-Mints, and others.

The foods that should be avoided include high fiber foods, cottonseed meals, and infant soy formula. These foods lower the absorptivity of the drug into the blood stream.

Side Effects Associated With the Use of Synthroid Drug

The drug is associated with so many side effects. Some side effects are common and other are rare. In case you see the side effects when using the drug you need to seek medical attention as quick as possible. The side effects may be mild, or they may be major.

Serious Side Effects that One Should not ignore

When you experience these serious side effects be sure to get medical attention, these side effects include:

  • The change in heart rates, the rates may be fast or slow. Generally, if the heart beats becomes irregular.
  • Pains in the chest especially that leads to difficulty in breathing is very serious and may make one suffocate.
  • The drug can alter the well-functioning of the brain and thus cause memory loss and other associated nervous issues such as anxiety and depression.
  • The skin may lose water due to extreme sweating caused by fever. Dehydration eventually leads to dry skin and worse the hair may fall off.
  • The drug may affect the muscles and thus lead to severe aches and finally tiredness or general body weakness.
  • The drug may also affect the digestive system and thus lead to diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite and thus make one to lose weight.

Most Common Side Effects

Some side effects are common to almost all users of Synthroid. These side effects may be serious and others may be mild. All in all the side effects should not be ignored, or they should be treated by own prescription, doctor's advice is very vital. These side effects that are more likely to be experienced, include;

Problems with digestive system leading to diarrhea, general body weakness associated with muscle cramps, nervousness, a mild problem of losing hair and slight headaches.

The Minor Side Effects

Minor side effects are those that are temporary. As one progresses in using the drug, the body becomes used to and thus react less often. The side effects that are likely to disappear include; associated digestive problems, headaches, crying and restlessness.

Does Synthroid Have Any Effects on Pregnancy

It is normally advised that before a pregnant mother takes any medication, they should seek advice from a medical professional. For mothers who are suffering from hypothyroidism before getting pregnant, they should increase the level of Synthroid dosage. The pregnant mother should check for the levels of thyroid hormones at each trimester. Normally, the Synthroid drugs have no effect on a pregnant mother. However, a dosage of the drug may change according to the level of pregnancy.

How to Monitor the Levels of Thyroxine Levels

A laboratory test is the only way to tell the levels of thyroxine hormone in the blood. When one is taking the Synthroid drugs, constant monitoring of the levels is important. In case the level does not improve despite the constant taking of the drugs, there may be a possibility of poor absorption of the drug, non-compliance and possible drug interaction with other drugs.

Classification of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is classified into two major classes, the primary hypothyroidism which affects mainly the adolescents and the adults. The tertiary or secondary hypothyroidism is that which affects the elderly people. Dosing is based on the two levels;

Primary Hypothyroidism

For the patients who are recently affected with hypothyroidism, they need to have full dosage at early stages. Normally the dose suitable for them is 1.6 mcg per kg in a day. The drug dosage should be adjusted according to the response of the body towards the drug.

Secondary Hypothyroidism

For the elderly people suffering from hypothyroidism, it is recommended that they should begin with a lower dose, unlike the young adults. The Synthroid dose should not be a measure for the hypothyroidism. Instead, the levels of thyroid in the body should be used to monitor the level of therapy that the elderly person requires.

Low Thyroid Hormones and Types of Goiters

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Hormones are special messengers in the body found in the endocrine gland. They perform major functions in the body like reproduction. An example of a hormone that I will discuss is the thyroxin hormone. Thyroxin hormone is one of thyroid hormones formed after the thyroid gland which is controlled by the pituitary gland; has converted iodine found in many foods into thyroid hormones. Thyroxin hormone is also called T4 and is regarded as one of the most vital thyroid hormones. The other type of thyroid hormone is triiodothyronine also known as T3.

These hormones; thyroxin and triiodothyronine are usually secreted into the bloodstream by the thyroid gland where they are then transported all over the body system and convert oxygen into energy. Although thyroxin performs major roles thus being considered as the most important thyroid hormone, having too little of it or too much of it can lead to health issues.

Effects of Low Thyroid Hormone

Low thyroid hormones lead to a condition called hypothyroidism. Hypo means too little while thyroidism is a disease of the thyroid. Hypothyroidism is brought about by the low blood level of thyroxin and the high level of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The thyroid stimulating hormone becomes high because the pituitary gland recognizes the fact that the thyroid gland produces low hormones and therefore responds by producing more TSH so that more hormones can be produced.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism matter according to age in that if it occurs when a person is young, there will be development problems. When a person is an adult, there will be weight loss, fatigue, and memory loss because of slow metabolism. Statistics have proven that this condition mainly occurs among women than it does among men. It has also shown that it continues to grow as people get older. In addition, there is proof that many people are suffering from this condition, but they are unaware of it.

Types of Goiter

Goiter is the enlargement of the larynx. It is brought about by the thyroid gland producing too much thyroid hormone called the thyroxin hormone. A body producing too much thyroxin suffers from a condition called thyrotoxicosis caused by hyperthyroidism. Hyper here means too much, and thyroid is a disease of the thyroid. The types of goiter are classified according to shapes and causes.

1. The Non-Toxic Goiter (Simple Goiter or Non-Cancerous Goiter)

This type of goiter has simple swellings that secrete low levels of thyroid hormones. It usually forms as a diffuse or nodular goiter. Here, the diffuse goiter is hyperplastic in nature. This means that it does not require surgery. A diffuse goiter is one that has swelled thyroid glands. It is also smooth when touched. In nodular, the thyroid gland has thyroid nodules which are lumps filled with fluid.

It is classified into two according to the number of nodules found in the thyroid gland. There is the uninodular also known as the solitary nodule. This has only one nodule, and there is also multinodular which means there is more than one nodule. The multinodular and the uninodular nodules are non-toxic hence the name non-toxic goiter. It can either be endemic or sporadic. An endemic is one that occurs due to low intake of iodine, and it is common among people while the sporadic can be caused due to genetics from one generation to the next.

2. The Goiter that Causes Cancer (Toxic Goiter)

This also forms as a diffuse or nodular goiter. However, the diffuse and the nodular are toxic. The diffuse toxic goiter is also referred to as the Graves' disease. This kind of goiter is usually present among people older than the age of 50 years. This goiter usually results in problems with parts of the body like reproductive and the nervous system. This condition occurs due to increased concentration of thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) leading to low secretion of the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

3. Neoplastic Goiter

This is caused by the enlargement of the thyroid gland due to a benign neoplasm or malignant neoplasm. Benign neoplasm tends to grow slowly and does not usually recur as compared to malignant neoplasm. Neoplastic goiter is not a threat to life but can cause severe symptoms depending on its locality example the nerve. The cells that make the human body when they grow abnormally in that they do not die as normal cells so as replace the worn out cells and they also divide quickly end up being termed as neoplastic cells.