Synthroid is considered the worldwide #1 brand for more than 50 years. It is well-known that doctors prescribe this medication for treating hypothyroidism in their patients. Actually, Synthroid is one of the brand names of Levothyroxine, due to the active ingredient called ‘levothyroxine sodium’. This is a synthetic hormone which is identical to ‘thyroxine’, naturally made by the thyroid glands. Frankly speaking, such thyroid replacement medicine is to be taken for life.
It’s important to know that there are other common brand names of Synthroid:
Europe - Euthyrox, Thyrax, Levaxin, Eltroxin, L-thyroxin, T4 and Thyrax Duotab;
South Asia - Thyrox;
North America - North Eutirox, Levoxyl, Tirosint and Synthroid;
Bangladesh - Thyrolar.
Besides, numerous generic Synthroid versions are also met.
This is some synthetic form of thyroxine or thyroid hormone. It is typically secreted by the thyroid gland follicular cells. Thus, Synthroid replacement is taken to treat thyroid hormone deficiency and goiter (enlarged thyroid gland). What’s more, this medicine can prevent the recurrence of thyroid cancer. In fact, the drug differs from natural thyroxine because it is chemically in another form.
2 Major Historical Facts about Thyroxine Hormone
1.Thyroxine was firstly isolated in its pure form in 1914. This was done by Edward Calvin Kendall at the Mayo Clinic from hog thyroid gland extracts.
2. In 1927, the hormone was synthesized by British chemists Charles George Barger and Robert Harington.
- Synthroid or Levothyroxine regulates the body’s energy and metabolism.
- Synthroid helps to produce enough of needed hormone.
- Synthroid treats the causes of hormone imbalances, surgery, radiation treatment and cancer.
- Synthroid should not be given to treat weight problems or obesity.
- Synthroid may be additionally used for other medical purposes.
A Small Gland that Plays Such a Big Role
Generally, there are 2 medical conditions connected with Synthroid: Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and Hypothyroidism (overactive thyroid). The key thing is in the thyroxine hormone. The first case happens when a thyroid gland does not produce enough of this hormone. The second one takes place if too much thyroxine is produced. Both conditions lead to unpleasant symptoms through the whole body, because thyroxine helps to control the body’s work and energy. By the way, everyone should know that 25 millions of people possess some form of hypothyroidism, more or less. However, only half of sufferers have been ever diagnosed.
The good thing is that almost anyone can use Synthroid. This is because thyroid hormone lives naturally in each body. However, some people cannot use this medication.
1. Therefore, it is a must to consult a doctor first if having:
- Thyrotoxicosis (a serious thyroid disorder)
- Heart disease or attack
- Problems with glands
- Coronary artery disease
- History of blood clots
2. It may take a few weeks before one’s body starts responding to Synthroid.
3. It is forbidden to stop taking this medicine suddenly. Unfortunately, a person may still need taking Synthroid for the rest of his life, because the thyroid hormone cannot be produced by its own.
4. This is compulsory to share all used medications with the doctor. They include vitamins and prescribed/over-the-counter/herbal products.
5. It is proven that Synthroid doesn’t harm an unborn baby. Perhaps, the doses just need to be different during pregnancy. Passing into breast milk will not be harmful to a nursing baby too.
6. Unfortunately, Synthroid has to be taken for the rest of one’s life.
- The thing is to use this medication exactly as it is prescribed by the doctor.
- Besides, no larger/smaller amounts or longer periods than there were actually recommended.
- Anyway, a patient should follow all the directions on the prescription label.
- However, the dosage may be occasionally changed by the doctor for better results.
- Synthroid pills are to be taken in the morning, with a full glass of water, on an empty stomach and 30 minutes before meals.
- One must try to take this medicine at the same time every day.
- The blood, liver and kidney are to be tested more often, to help one’s condition and cause no harmful effects.
- The patient should visit his doctor regularly.
- Warning any doctor or dentist is also necessary.
- The missed dose is to be taken as soon as possible. But if it is almost time for the next one, it should be skipped.
What to Avoid with Synthroid?
It’s well-known that certain medicines make this grug less effective if taken simultaneously. Nevertheless, one may use any of the following drugs, either 4 hours before or after having Synthroid:
- Calcium carbonate
- Iron supplement
- Sodium polystyrene sulfonate
- Antacids containing aluminum
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs
More so, changing brands or changing to a generic Synthroid without consultation is not usually recommended. This is because various brands of Levothyroxine may not work the same way. Finally, the patient has to avoid the foods, such as cotton seed meal, infant soy formula, walnuts and different high-fiber foods.
Like other drugs, Synthroid has side effects. Among the most common ones are allergic reactions: difficult breathing, hives and swelling. But calling a doctor at once is immediate if there are any serious side effects:
- sleep problems;
- feeling nervous;
- fever and sweating;
- unusual heartbeats;
- fluttering in chest;
- menstrual, appetite and weight changes;
- mild hair loss.
Different patients have different needs. Some people only need a small dose of Synthroid, while others need a higher dose of this medicine. That is why the drug comes in 12 precise strengths for prescribing the right amount. One should take Synthroid the right way: once a day, alone and at the same time.
Stay or Not to Stay with Synthroid
So as to keep thyroid hormone in a perfect balance, the doctors may advise staying on Synthroid. The Food and Drug Administration determines that not all Levothyroxine products are truly interchangeable. That is why some of them may not have the same effect on a person’s thyroid-stimulating hormone. In this case, a patient needs some additional TSH test within 8-12 weeks.
- - Unfortunately, hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition, requiring time consuming treatment.
- - People suffering from it are to keep their thyroid hormones in balance all the time.
- - The patients may have hard times accepting the fact of their medical condition.
- + This is normal to take daily medications in most cases. It is only a problem when somebody has never done it before.
- + Such lifetime treatment should be treated a little easier and thought of more positively. In fact, millions of people live with it.
- + Taking medication every day will help in achieving the best treatment goals.
- + Both numerous visits to the doctor’s office and regular blood tests will definitely develop patience. Besides, the doses will be adjusted so as to make anyone feel normal.
- + Keeping learning and inside-out understanding of a specific condition help to feel more in control.
- + Open communication between the doctor and patient is a vital part of managing hypothyroidism in general.
- + Connecting with similar people brings much support and inspiration. The other people happily live and enjoy life with hypothyroidism.
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