Synthroid is a man-made hormone which is used as a replacement for thyroxin. It contains the active ingredient levothyroxine sodium.
How it works
The thyroid hormone is responsible for maintaining metabolism and plays a key role in growth and development. It controls several metabolic processes such as cellular respiration and thermogenesis. It also plays an essential role in digestion, cardiovascular and muscle functions as well as the brain’s development. Synthroid is an effective replacement of the thyroid hormone and it is used to treat persons who suffer from hypothyroidism: a condition in which the thyroid gland is unable to produce the thyroxin hormone. Synthroid is taken orally or given by injection.
Aside from treating hypothyroidism, Synthroid can also treat thyroid tumors and goiter; the enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Synthroid is taken as a single daily dose. It should be taken 4 hours apart from other medications to avoid interactions. It is important for your medical practitioner to identify the correct balance in the dose needed for the treatment. Based on the severity of your condition, the doctor will first prescribe a smaller intake and gradually increase the dosage.
The starting dose recommended for infants is 10-15 mcg/kg/day. The daily dose for children between 6 to 12 years of age is 4-5 mcg/kg/day. The intake decreases with age.
The full replacement dose of Synthroid for an adult who weighs 70 kg is around 1.7 mcg/kg/day. Elderly patients need less than 1 mcg/kg/day.
The dosage for patients below 50 years of age with heart diseases is 25-50 mcg/day and it will be increased at intervals of 6 to 8 weeks. It is the same for patients above 50 years of age with basic heart problems.
Persons with severe hypothyroidism generally require a dose of 12.5-25 mcg daily and their levels of TSH need to be checked regularly.
It is also advisable to take Synthroid on an empty stomach. An empty stomach will improve the absorption of the medication.
Some common side effects of Synthroid are:
Irregular heart rate
Loss of appetite
Shortness of breath
Double vision, chest pains, light-headedness and seizures are some rare, but severe, side effects of Synthroid intake.
It is vital to know that Synthroid should not be taken with a mixture of other drugs to treat weight loss or obesity. The intake of this medication for such purposes can be hazardous to a person with normal thyroxin levels.
Your doctor should be made aware of allergies you have to any food or drugs, if you are pregnant or breast feeding and taking any other medication.
If you are experiencing or have experienced any of the complications listed below, be certain to tell the doctor.
Symptoms of a heart attack
When you are taking Synthroid, be sure to tell your doctor about it before any surgery you may have to undergo.
Use Synthroid exactly how your doctor prescribes it. Avoid reducing or increasing the intake. Changes to the daily dose will further affect hormonal imbalance.