Synthroid is a drug taken to treat problems with the thyroid gland. It is most commonly used to either treat hypothyroidism, a condition when the body is low in hormones produced by the thyroid gland that are supposed to regulate energy and metabolism, or it is used to treat or prevent goiter, an enlarged thyroid gland. The former happens when the body cannot produce enough of the hormone on its own, and the latter can be caused by hormone imbalances, radiation treatment, surgery, or cancer. This medication is not used to treat weight problems or obesity.
Dosage, Missed Doses, and Drug Information
In most cases, the actual dosage will vary among individuals, but your doctor will prescribe you the dose, and may possibly have to adjust it based on your needs and to get the best possible results. Regardless, take it with a full (8 ounce) glass of water. Take the medication on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before eating. Follow the directions that your doctor gives you and try to take the medication at the same time every day, preferably in the morning. Don’t ever stop taking the medication unless your doctor advises you to do so; you will more than likely stay on the medication for the rest of your life. In the case of a missed dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time of your next dose. If it is, then skip it. Don’t ever take an extra dose to make up for the missed dose.
Possible Side Effects of Synthroid
First of all, you should not take Synthroid if you have had a heart attack, a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or if you currently have heart disease, coronary artery disease, anemia, diabetes, pituitary or adrenal gland problems, or a history of blood clots. Consult with your doctor and be sure he or she is aware of these and other conditions that you’ve been diagnosed with. Side effects seem to be very rare when taking this medication; some people may experience them while others will not have any problems with the drug. If you endure any of the following symptoms, check with your doctor about what the next step should be.
Some of these side effects are a lot more serious than others, but most likely your doctor needs to adjust your dosage. The first three bullet points are characteristic of an allergic reaction. In this case, seek medical attention immediately.
Some drugs will have adverse reactions with Synthroid. These include antidepressants, amiodarone, or lithium. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking before starting on this medication, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamin and mineral supplements, and herbal products. Some drugs can continue to be used, but need to be taken at a different time than the Synthroid so the effectiveness of either isn’t decreased. These include calcium carbonate, iron supplements, antacids containing aluminum, and cholesterol-lowering drugs. As always, your doctor can provide you with a full list of drug interactions and medications that should be taken at different times.