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    Information about Thyroxine/Levothyroxine

    Thyroxine/levothyroxine uses

    Thyroxine/Levothyroxine is used in the treatment of hypothyroidism.

    How thyroxine/levothyroxine works

    Thyroxine/Levothyroxine is a synthetic version of a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. It works by replacing the thyroid hormones that your thyroid gland cannot produce and relieves the symptoms of hypothyroidism (tiredness, weight gain, and depression).

    Common side effects of thyroxine/levothyroxine

    Anxiety, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Palpitations, Nervousness, Weight loss, Flushing (sense of warmth in the face, ears, neck and trunk), Restlessness
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Anuj Saini
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Varun Gupta
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    03 Dec 2019 | 11:04 AM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Thyroxine/Levothyroxine

    • Thyroxine/Levothyroxine should be taken on an empty stomach (ideally, first thing in the morning). No food, milk, or tea should be taken 1 hour before and 2 hours after taking this medicine.
    • It may take 6 to 8 weeks to get the full effect.
    • For most people, Thyroxine/Levothyroxine is a lifelong medication. Do not discontinue it without discussing with your doctor.
    • Inform your doctor if you have diarrhea, nervousness, irritability, sleep disturbances, shaking hands, or chest pain. Your doctor may adjust your dose.
    • Leave a gap of at least 4 hours before taking any antacids, calcium or iron supplements, and multivitamins, as these may interfere with the effect of the medicine.
    • Get your hormone levels checked regularly and inform your doctor if you notice a significant change in your body weight. The dose may need to be adjusted.
    • Inform your doctor before changing the brand of Thyroxine/Levothyroxine as all brands may not have the same effect.

    Frequently asked questions for Thyroxine/Levothyroxine


    Q. How should Thyroxine/Levothyroxine be taken?

    Take Thyroxine/Levothyroxine exactly as advised by your doctor. Thyroxine/Levothyroxine should be taken orally preferably before breakfast or as a first meal of the day. It should be swallowed whole with plenty of water.

    Q. What happens when excess dose of Thyroxine/Levothyroxine is taken?

    Increased levels of Thyroxine/Levothyroxine may speed up the body processes (functions such as respiration, movemements, etc). Additionally, you may experience nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremors, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems.

    Q. How long do I need to take Thyroxine/Levothyroxine?

    Take Thyroxine/Levothyroxine as long as your doctor has recommended. Usually, you will have to take it life long. Do not stop taking the medicine, as your symptoms of low levels of thyroid hormone may reoccur.

    Q. Being a diabetic what should I be aware of while taking Thyroxine/Levothyroxine?

    Thyroxine/Levothyroxine may raise blood sugar levels and may affect the working of other anti-diabetic medicines which you might be taking. Hence, dose adjustment may be required. Consult your doctor who will help you with dose management.

    Q. Does Thyroxine/Levothyroxine affect contraception?

    Oral birth control pills containing both oestrogen and progesterone may reduce the amount of Thyroxine/Levothyroxine in your body and therefore the dose of Thyroxine/Levothyroxine may have to be increased.

    Q. What are the side effects of taking Thyroxine/Levothyroxine?

    The side effects of Thyroxine/Levothyroxine are mostly seen when it is taken at high doses. These symptoms include allergic reaction, headache, vomiting, flushing, high temperature, sweating, weight loss, tremor, restlessness, and excitability. It may also cause difficulty in sleeping (insomnia), increased pressure around the brain in children (benign intracranial hypertension), chest pain (angina), pounding, irregular or fast heartbeat, diarrhea, muscle cramps, and muscle weakness. The other side effects related to Thyroxine/Levothyroxine include deformity of the skull in infants caused by the early closure of joints in the skull bone (craniostenosis), growth in children may slow or stop due to changes in bone growth, irregular periods, intolerance to heat, and temporary hair loss in children.

    Q. What does thyroxine do? Why is it important?

    Thyroxine hormone controls how much energy your body uses. It plays an important role in regulating your body weight, muscle strength, body temperature, and even your mood. Along with that, it is important for your digestion, heart muscles, brain development, and bone health.

    Content on this page was last updated on 03 December, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)