April 27, 2018

Levothyroxine Side Effects

Levothyroxine is often prescribed to individuals who suffer from hypothyroidism, thyroid cancers, cretinism or goiter. The medication works by supplying with the body with synthetically made thyroid hormones. When the patient receives the extra dose of the thyroid hormone, it brings their thyroid up to normal levels. Most of the issues people have with taking levothyroxine occur because they are on a dosage that is too high for their body. If a patient is experiencing any side effects, they should contact a medical professional.

Levothyroxine Side Effects

Most people who are prescribed levothyroxine can take it without experiencing any side effects. Many of the reports of side effects occur because of a drug overdose. There is also a chance that the patient’s hypothyroidism will improve. If this happens, it could actually cause a number of problems because the patient would be taking a medication that they do not actually need. Anyone who experiences one of the following side effects should talk to their doctor about switching drugs or changing the dosage.

If patients receive too high of a dose, they may develop hyperthyroidism instead of hypothyroidism.

Some of the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism are:

– Mood changes
– Flushing of the skin
– Anxiety
– Hyperactivity
– Nervousness
– Fever
– Increased appetite accompanied by weight loss
– Irritability
– Tremors
– Higher heart rates
– Higher body temperature and increased levels of sweating
– Stomach cramps
– Muscle weakness
– Seizures
– Hair loss
– Difficulty breathing
– Heart palpitations
– High blood pressure
– Diarrhea
– Problems with the menstrual cycle

The majority of these symptoms are caused by an overdose of levothyroxine and a resulting case of hyperthyroidism. Other side effects are possible with levothyroxine.

Some of the potential symptoms include:

– Nausea
– Fatigue
– Nervousness
– Drastic increase or decrease in appetite
– Unusual levels of sweating
– Vomiting
– Irritability
– Intolerance to heat
– Headaches
– Chest pain or arrhythmia
– Muscle weakness
– Abdominal cramps
– Decrease in bone density
– Diarrhea
– Seizures or tremors
– Drastic increase or decrease in weight
– Differences in menstrual periods
– Anxiety
– Insomnia

Some patients may also experience severe side effects like heart attack, osteoporosis, adrenal cortical insufficiency or heart failure. Levothyroxine can cause fertility issues in women, diabetes mellitus or increase the risk of bone fractures. Elderly individuals who take the medication are at a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease.

Allergic Reactions

Like most drugs, levothyroxine can cause an allergic reaction. Some of the possible symptoms of this are:

– Angioedema (swelling under the skin often around the lips and eyes)
– Dizziness
– Flushing
– Wheezing
– Fever
– Rashes or hives
– Difficulty breathing
– Itching
– Swelling of the face or neck
– Rapid heart rate
– Mood changes
– Insomnia

Patients who take levothyroxine should watch for any signs that their hypothyroid is transforming into hyperthyroid. Doctors will regularly test patients, but it is up to the patient to report any unusual side effects or medical conditions

Levothyroxine in Women and Children

Clinical studies suggest that levothyroxine will not severely harm a fetus if a mother takes the drug. Women should still ask their doctor about the effects that levothyroxine could have on their baby. Pregnant women have to be extremely careful to keep track of their thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy. Individuals who have hypothyroid while pregnant can cause slow down the growth and harm the well-being of their fetus.

Children should never take levothyroxine without consulting with a doctor first. Infants or young children who take too much levothyroxine can experience growth problems and other issues. Never give a child any prescription medication unless told to by a doctor.

If patients experience any side effects, they should bring it to their doctor’s attention. In rare cases, individuals may require emergency care. Although this list includes many of the side effects associated with levothyroxine, each person’s body might react to the drug in a different way. Patients should report any unusual medical problems to their doctor.