liothyronine sodium, Cytomel, Triostat
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: liothyronine sodium
BRAND NAME: Cytomel, Triostat
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Liothyronine sodium is a synthetic (man-made) version of one of the two hormones made by the thyroid gland, triiodothyronine. It is used for treating individuals who are hypothyroid (do not produce enough thyroid hormones). Thyroid hormones increase the metabolism (activity) of all cells in the body. In the fetus, newborn infant and child, thyroid hormones promote growth and development of tissues. In adults, thyroid hormones help to maintain the function of the brain, the use of food by the body, and body temperature. The FDA approved liothyronine in May 1956.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 5, 25, and 50 mcg. Injection: 10 mcg/ml
STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature 20-25 C (68-77°F) and the injectable preparation between 2-8 C (36-46 F )
PRESCRIBED FOR: Liothyronine is used to treat hypothyroidism (low production of thyroid hormone) in adults and children. Prolonged hypothyroidism can result in a condition called myxedema in which patients develop swollen lips, thickened nose, and unusual deposits of material in the skin that are dry and waxy. These deposits also may appear in body tissues other than the skin. Liothyronine also is used for suppressing production of thyroid stimulating hormone in patients with goiters and for testing how well the thyroid gland is functioning.
DOSING: The usual starting dose of liothyronine for treating hypothyroidism is 5 to 25 mcg per day. The dose then is adjusted based on the patient's response and the blood levels of thyroid hormone. Optimal liothyronine doses are different for each patient and vary depending on the patient's age, weight, symptoms, blood levels of thyroid hormone and underlying conditions such as heart disease. Individuals who are hypothyroid will require thyroid hormone for life.
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?
Back to Medications Index