Levothyroxine May Interact With Other Medications
Levothyroxine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs youre taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else youre taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with levothyroxine are listed below.
How Long Can You Go Without Thyroid Medication Before Symptoms
A person can go for many years without thyroid hormones. Indeed, people often go undiagnosed for decades despite suffering from hypothyroid symptoms. However, without thyroid replacement medication, a person with overt hypothyroidism cannot function optimally and will suffer from the physical and mental symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The half-life of levothyroxine is 6-7 days, which means it takes about 4-5 weeks for your body to rid itself of levothyroxine. Nonetheless, as synthetic T4 levels start to wane, you can begin to experience symptoms within the first week of not taking your medication.
It is essential to stay current with your thyroid blood tests, thyroid doctorâs visits, and maintain your prescription to prevent a recurrence of hypothyroid symptoms. Keep in mind that it takes between 4-6 weeks before thyroid replacement medication reaches its peak therapeutic effect. Therefore, if you have a lapse in taking your medicine, such as forgetting to pack it on a trip or refill your prescription, it will take time for your symptoms to stabilize.
How Do I Take Thyroid Hormone
Thyroid hormone is easy to take. Because it stays in your system for a long time, it can be taken just once a day, and this results in very stable levels of thyroid hormone in the blood stream. When thyroid hormone is used to treat hypothyroidism, the goal of treatment is to keep thyroid function within the same range as people without thyroid problems. Keeping the TSH level in the normal range does this. The best time to take thyroid hormone is probably first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This is because food in the stomach can affect the absorption of thyroid hormone. However, the most important thing is to be consistent, and take your thyroid hormone at the same time, and in the same way, every day. If you are taking several other medications, you should discuss the timing of your thyroid hormone dose with your physician. Sometimes taking your thyroid hormone at night can make it simpler to prevent your thyroid hormone from interacting with food or other medications.
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Interactions That Increase The Risk Of Side Effects
Taking levothyroxine with certain drugs may result in an increase in adverse effects. Examples of these drugs include:
- Antidepressants such as amitriptyline and maprotiline. The side effects of both of these antidepressants and levothyroxine may increase when you take these drugs together. This may put you at risk for irregular heart rhythms .
- Sympathomimetic drugs such as pseudoephedrine and albuterol. The effects of both the sympathomimetic drugs and levothyroxine may increase when you take these drugs together. This may put you at risk of serious heart problems.
- Blood thinners such as warfarin. Taking these drugs with levothyroxine may increase your risk of bleeding. Your doctor may need to decrease the dosage of your blood thinner if youre also taking levothyroxine.
- Ketamine. Taking this drug with levothyroxine may increase your risk of high blood pressure and fast heart rate.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Thyroid Medication
If you stop taking your thyroid medication, you can expect your hypothyroid symptoms to return. Typically, the longer you go without your medication, and the more severe your thyroid disease is, the higher your risk for severe and even life-threatening conditions.
In the immediate period, after stopping your thyroid medication, you may begin to feel tired and sluggish and have a low mood. The longer you go without a prescription, the more intense your symptoms are likely to become. Not taking your thyroid medication could also worsen other health conditions you may have, including sleep apnea, depression, and type 2 diabetes.
People with moderate to severe hypothyroidism who stop taking their medication are at risk for extreme health events, including a myxedema crisis. Although very rare, a myxedema crisis is a life-threatening complication of hypothyroidism. Typically, this condition arises when someone already has uncontrolled hypothyroidism, and a precipitating event occurs, like infection or pregnancy.
In myxedema crisis, people can experience swelling all over the body, including the face, tongue, lips, and limbs. It also is accompanied by a thickening of the skin. A myxedema crisis may also cause other complications, including:
- Difficulty breathing
Get personalized guidance to avoid complications from not taking thyroid medication:
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Warnings For People With Certain Health Conditions
For people with heart problems: Levothyroxine can increase your risk of serious heart problems, such as heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, and heart failure. This risk is increased if youve already had these problems. Tell your doctor if you have heart problems or a history of heart problems. Your doctor may decide to start you on a lower dosage of levothyroxine.
For people with diabetes: Let your doctor know if you have diabetes. Taking levothyroxine can make your diabetes worse. Your doctor may monitor your blood sugar level more closely while you take this drug and adjust your diabetes drugs if needed.
For people with adrenal or pituitary gland problems: Let your doctor know if you have any adrenal or pituitary gland problems. Using levothyroxine can cause changes to your levels of thyroid hormone that could make these problems worse.
For people with blood clotting disorders: Let your doctor know if you have any blood clotting disorders. Taking levothyroxine may make it more difficult for your blood to clot and make bleeding more likely.
How To Make Sure Sure You Are On The Right Dose
If you have hypothyroidism, you must find the right type and dose of thyroid medication for you. Your doctor will determine your starting dose based on your age, underlying health conditions, and blood test results. Starting doses may vary. For example, some people begin at a full replacement dose of 1.7 mcg/kg/day. In contrast, others are started at low doses between 25mcg-50mcg/day and titrated up as necessary. It can take several weeks to determine if the amount is therapeutic or not.
Once you find the right dose of thyroid medication, is it essential that you stay on that same dose and take it every day. You will also want to use the same brand continuously. Switching between generic and brand medications can change how your body responds to each type of medication. To remain stable on your thyroid medication, make sure that you know about things that can affect thyroid medication absorption.
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Dose: How Do I Take Carbimazole Tablets And How Often
You can take carbimazole tablets either with or without food. Swallow them with a drink.
The carbimazole dose prescribed and how often to take it will vary from person to person. Always follow the instructions given by your doctor. These will be printed on the label that your pharmacist has put on the packet of medicine.
It’s usual for your doctor to ask you to take a dose of carbimazole two or three times a day to begin with.
After four to eight weeks, as your thyroid hormone levels return to normal, your doctor may then ask you to take a dose just once a day. Alternatively, they may keep you on your original dose and ask you to take levothyroxine as well, to avoid your thyroid hormone levels falling too low. This second option is called block and replace.
In both instances you’ll usually need to keep taking carbimazole for 12 to 18 months. Keep taking it regularly until your doctor tells you to stop.
If you forget to take a dose take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as usual when it’s due. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
What Are The Different Kinds Of Thyroid Medication
To combat hypothyroidism, you must take a daily thyroid hormone replacement medication. Thyroid medication typically works by increasing circulating thyroxine levels. T4 is responsible for regulating your weight, heart rate, temperature, muscle strength, and overall energy and mood. Levothyroxine provides synthetic T4 to replenish low thyroid hormone levels.
There are also combination T4/T3 formulations that come in a single pill. In the United States, these come as natural desiccated thyroid . While every person is unique in what will work best for them, synthetic T4 is usually the standard treatment method for hypothyroidism.
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What About Natural Thyroid Hormones
Desiccated animal thyroid , now mainly obtained from pigs, was the most common form of thyroid therapy before the individual active thyroid hormones were discovered. People can still buy it over the Internetlegally if its sold as a food supplement, but illegally if its sold as a medicine. It is also available still as a prescription. Since pills made from animal thyroid are not purified, they contain hormones and proteins that never exist in the body outside of the thyroid gland. While desiccated thyroid contains both T4 and T3, the balance of T4 and T3 in animals is not the same as in humans, so the hormones in animal thyroid pills arent necessarily natural for the human body. Further, the amounts of both T4 and T3 can vary in every batch of desiccated thyroid, making it harder to keep blood levels right. Finally, even desiccated thyroid pills have chemicals in them to hold the pill together, so they are not completely natural. Desiccated animal thyroid is rarely prescribed today, and there is no evidence that desiccated thyroid has any advantage over synthetic T4.
You Feel Like You Are About To Get A Cold
A drop in thyroid hormones might trigger cold-like symptoms: sudden shivers, cold hands and feet, or a swollen throat.
Thyroid hormones help maintain body temperature, and you especially need optimal levels when transitioning between warm and cold temperatures. A swollen throat occurs when the thyroid tries to overcompensate for a lack of hormones.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
Reasons You May Not Be Feeling Better
What if you’ve waited for more than 6-8 weeks and you still aren’t feeling any better?
If this is you then don’t panic.
There are no fewer than 8 reasons you may not be feeling better that could potentially explain your persistent symptoms.
If you still remain symptomatic after taking your thyroid medication then make sure to read this list below.
But most of all, remember to be patient!
It can take a while to get your dose dialed in and the entire process can take months.
Don’t let this discourage you, however, because there is a high chance that you will get to where you need to be.
It’s not normal to feel poorly if you are still taking thyroid medication.
#1. You are taking your medication with food.
One simple thing to remember when you take thyroid medication is to never take it with food!
Typical thyroid medications such as levothyroxine and Synthroid absorption can be blocked if you take them with food.
This is why your Doctor should have told you to take your medication on an empty stomach.
Whether or not you listened to them is a different story!
Taking your medication with food in your stomach may limit the amount of thyroid hormone your body can absorb .
So, even if you are taking the right medication, at the right time, in the right dose, it’s still possible that it’s not getting into your body.
Most people recommend no food 1-4 hours before or after you take your medication.
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What Can Go Wrong With The Thyroid
Unfortunately, thyroid diseases are not uncommon. You can have an underactive thyroid , overactive thyroid , or thyroid cancer. We will be focusing on hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in this article.
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What If I Forget To Take It
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. In which case just skip the forgotten dose. Do not take 2 doses together to make up for a missed dose.
If you forget often doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Levothyroxine
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- fast or irregular heartbeats
- chest pain, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder
- shortness of breath
- tremors, or if you feel unusually cold
- weakness, tiredness, sleep problems
- memory problems, feeling depressed or irritable
- headache, leg cramps, muscle aches
- feeling nervous or irritable
- dryness of your skin or hair, hair loss
- irregular menstrual periods or
- vomiting, diarrhea, appetite changes, weight changes.
Certain side effects may be more likely in older adults.
Common side effects may include:
- chest pain, irregular heartbeats
- headache, leg cramps, muscle pain or weakness
- tremors, feeling nervous or irritable, trouble sleeping
- changes in your menstrual periods
- diarrhea or
- skin rash, partial hair loss.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What Are The Possible Side
Most people who take antithyroid medicines do not experience any side-effects. The side-effects that most commonly occur are:
- High temperature .
- Any other signs of infection.
As noted above, a mild rash is a common side-effect. The rash associated with this rare but serious effect on blood-making cells is different. Therefore, when taking an antithyroid medicine, always report a rash to a doctor who can then decide if it is a common and minor problem or the more serious rash.
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Treatment For Thyroid Problems
The treatment for hyperthyroidism is to remove or inactivate the overactive thyroid. This can be accomplished with surgery, radioactive iodine, or antithyroid medications like methimazole or propylthiouracil .
Once youve removed or inactivated the thyroid gland, you no longer have a fully functional thyroid, and you become hypothyroid. Theres no cure for hypothyroidism, but for most people, they can effectively manage the conditionand feel betterwith hormone replacement therapy using a man-made version of thyroid hormone.
Levothyroxine is the most common synthetic thyroid hormone used to treat an underactive thyroid, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association . Also sold under the brand names Synthroid, Levoxyl, and Tirosint, levothyroxine is a synthetic version of the T4 thyroid hormone. Your treatment of hypothyroidism entails restoring your thyroid hormone levels to normal.
In general, beware of over-the-counter thyroid boosters, which are often unreliable and lack scientific data to prove their effectiveness.
Can I Take Other Medicines With Carbimazole
It’s important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start taking carbimazole. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking carbimazole, to make sure that the combination is safe. Some key points are:
If you need a painkiller it’s fine to take paracetamol or ibuprofen with carbimazole.
If you’re taking warfarin your blood clotting time should be regularly checked while you’re taking carbimazole.
If you’re taking digoxin or theophylline you may need a gradual decrease in your dose as carbimazole returns your thyroid function to normal.
You’re more likely to have problems with your blood cells if you take other medicines that can affect your blood cells with carbimazole.
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