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.
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.
SIDE EFFECTS: Liothyronine therapy generally is well-tolerated. If symptoms occur, they usually occur because there are toxic (too high) levels of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- chest pain,
- increased heart rate,
- excessive sweating,
- heat intolerance,
- weight loss,
- fever, and,
- rarely, cardiac arrest.
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