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Levothyroxine is used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.

How it works

Levothyroxine is in a class of medications called hormones. It works by replacing thyroid hormone that is normally produced by the body.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Nervousness, Altered menstrual cycle, Chest pain, Diarrhoea, Hair loss, Headache, Increased appetite, Increased sweating, Insomnia, Stomach cramp, Tachycardia, Heart beat irregular, Tremor, Weight loss, Fever


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Expert advice

  • Take special precaution if you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure or have had a heart attack, or condition that affects your adrenal glands; or if you are over 50 years of age and have a long standing history of hypothyroidism.
  • An electrocardiogram (ECG; test to measure the electrical activity of heart) is advised before starting treatment with levothyroxine, as changes induced by hypothyroidism may be confused with changes that occur due to decreased blood flow to heart (ischemia).
  • Levothyroxine is to be taken in the morning on an empty stomach, at least half an hour before the first meal of the day.
  • If your scheduled dose is skipped or missed, take it as soon as you remember if it is within 2 to 3 hours. If the time lapse is longer, skip the missed dose and continue with the next dose at the usual time.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is levothyroxine sodium gluten free?
Yes, levothyroxine sodium is gluten free. However, please refer to package insert of the prescribed brand before use.
Q. Is levothyroxine sodium same as levothyroxine?
Yes, they both are synthetic form of thyroxine hormone.
Q. Is levothyroxine sodium the same as Synthroid?
Yes, Synthroid is trade name of the active medicine levothyroxine sodium.
Q. Is levothyroxine sodium a steroid or addictive?
Levothyroxine is neither a steroid nor addictive in nature; it is a synthetic form of thyroxine hormone. 
Q. Is levothyroxine sodium safe?
Levothyroxine sodium is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is levothyroxine sodium t3 or t4?
Levothyroxine is a synthetic version of the thyroid gland hormone-Thyroxine (T4).
Q. What is levothyroxine sodium used to treat?
Levothyroxine sodium is used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)