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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid)?
Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take levothyroxine. However, you may not be able to take this medication if you have certain medical conditions.
Tell your doctor if you have recently received radiation therapy with iodine (such as I-131).
To make sure you can safely take levothyroxine, tell your doctor if you have:
If you use insulin or take diabetes medicine by mouth, ask your doctor if your dose needs to be changed when you start using levothyroxine.
In most cases, you will need to take levothyroxine for the rest of your life. Taking levothyroxine over long periods of time may cause bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about how this could affect you.
FDA pregnancy category A. Levothyroxine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking levothyroxine, do not stop taking the medicine without your doctor's advice. Having low thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy.
Levothyroxine can pass into breast milk, but it is not expected to be harmful to a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Your dose needs may be different while you are nursing.
How should I take levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid)?
Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
It is very important to take Levoxyl with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. The Levoxyl tablet can dissolve very quickly and swell in the throat, possibly causing choking or gagging.
Take this medicine on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before eating. Levothyroxine is usually taken in the morning. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions and try to take the medicine at the same time each day.
It may take several weeks before your body starts to respond to this medication. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly. Even if you feel well, you may still need to take this medicine every day for the rest of your life to replace the thyroid hormone your body cannot produce.
While using levothyroxine, you may need frequent medical tests at your doctor's office.
Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using levothyroxine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
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