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Liotrix is used to treat an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). It replaces or provides more of a certain natural substance (thyroid hormone) that is normally produced by the thyroid gland. Low thyroid hormone levels can occur naturally or when the thyroid gland is injured by radiation/medications or removed by surgery. Having enough thyroid hormone in your bloodstream is important for maintaining normal mental and physical activity. In children, having enough thyroid hormone is important for normal mental and physical development.
This medication is also used to treat other types of thyroid disorders (e.g., certain types of goiters, thyroid cancer). It can also be used to test for certain types of thyroid disease.
This medication should not be used to treat infertility unless it is caused by low thyroid hormone levels.
Take this medication by mouth, usually once a day on an empty stomach, 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast, or as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory test results, and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on age. Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose and slowly increase your dose as needed.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting with your doctor. Thyroid replacement treatment is usually taken for life.
Symptoms of low thyroid hormone levels include tiredness, muscle aches, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, slow heartbeat, or sensitivity to cold. Tell your doctor if your condition worsens or persists after several weeks of taking this medication.
Some hair loss may occur during the first few months of starting this drug. This effect is usually temporary as your body adjusts to this medication. If this effect persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious effects of high thyroid hormone levels occur: diarrhea, bone pain, headache, mental/mood changes (e.g., nervousness, mood swings), shaking (tremor), sensitivity to heat, increased sweating, tiredness.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious effects of high thyroid hormone levels occur: chest pain, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, seizures, swelling of the ankles/feet.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking liotrix, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: increased thyroid hormones (thyrotoxicosis), a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction), adrenal gland problem (e.g., uncorrected adrenal insufficiency).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, diabetes, other hormone disorders (e.g., decreased pituitary hormone).
If you have diabetes, this medication may increase your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects on the heart caused by high thyroid hormone level.
Current information shows that this drug may be used during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant because your dose may need to be adjusted.
Small amounts of this medication pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store in the refrigerator away from light. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: androgens/anabolic steroids, beta blockers (e.g., propranolol), "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone), cytokines (e.g., interferon-alpha, interleukin-2), digoxin, drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove liotrix from your body (such as phenobarbital, rifamycins including rifabutin, certain anti-seizure medicines including phenytoin), drugs that can decrease thyroid hormone levels (e.g., amiodarone, medications containing iodide/iodine, lithium), estrogen-containing products (including birth control pills), growth hormones, medications for depression (including maprotiline, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, SSRIs such as sertraline).
Certain medications (cholestyramine, colestipol, antacids, sucralfate, simethicone, iron, sodium polystyrene sulfonate, calcium carbonate, orlistat) can decrease the amount of liotrix that is absorbed by your body . If you are taking any of these drugs, separate them from this medication by at least 4 hours.
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients such as decongestants or caffeine that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, confusion, slurred speech, seizures.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up unless your doctor instructs you to do so. Call your doctor if you miss 2 or more doses in a row. Ask your doctor ahead of time what to do about a missed dose and follow your doctor's specific directions.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., thyroid stimulating hormone-TSH levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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