Thyroid Replacement Hormones (cont.)

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What are the side effects of thyroid replacement hormones?

Thyroid replacement hormones usually are well tolerated. Symptoms that occur during treatment are often due to toxic, elevated levels of thyroid hormones and resulting symptoms from hyperthyroidism. Symptoms may include chest pain, increased heart rate or pulse rate, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, nervousness, headache, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and fever. Some women may experience irregular menstrual cycles.

What are some examples of thyroid replacement hormones?

The following is a list of the thyroid replacement hormones that are available in the United States:

  • levothyroxine sodium (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid)
  • liothyronine sodium (Cytomel, Triostat)
  • liotrix (Thyrolar)

For what conditions are thyroid replacement hormones used?

Thyroid replacement hormones are used to treat hypothyroidism (low production of thyroid hormone) and myxedema, a condition that is caused by prolonged hypothyroidism. Thyroid replacement hormones prevent thyroid hormone release from cancerous thyroid nodules and are used therefore to treat thyroid cancers. They also are used to manage thyrotoxicosis, a condition in which there are high levels of thyroid hormones resulting from over-active thyroid glands and too much thyroid hormone. Thyrotoxicosis may progress to hypothyroidism or cause the growth of goiters necessitating the use of thyroid replacement hormones.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2015

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