An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, causes your thyroid gland to underproduce thyroxine. As a result you may experience weight gain, joint pain, heart disease and infertility, according to"The Everything Health Guide to Thyroid Disease." Your doctor will prescribe thyroid replacement hormones to restore balance, which can also reduce your weight by increasing metabolism.
Unithroid, Levoxyl and Synthroid are variations of levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone, according to the Mayo Clinic. Thyroid medication should only be used if you suffer from a thyroid disorder; using it with a normally functioning thyroid is ineffective and can cause life-threatening disorders.
This synthetic thyroid medication helps restore thyroid function and prevent goiters. Restoring correct thyroid levels allows for a faster metabolism, which provides energy to burn off calories and lose weight. You should not take the medication if you are simply trying to lose weight. High doses of the medication can lead to thyrotoxicity, an overproduction of the thyroid that can cause cardiac arrest, according to "The Everything Health Guide to Thyroid Disease." Levoxyl should be taken on an empty stomach in the morning, and at least 30 minutes before eating. According to http://www.Drugs.com, you should not take this medication if you have experienced heart problems in the past. Side effects of Levoxyl include headache, insomnia, nervousness, fever and changes in appetite.
Unithroid is the first FDA-approved levothyroxine medication that stabilizes hormones and reduces mood disorders associated with hypothyroidism. It regulates your metabolism and prevents goiters from forming in your throat, according to http://www.Drugs.com. It is crucial to stick with the same brand to control your hypothyroidism, as the medication maintains the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level in your blood.
Mixing medications also can throw off your TSH levels, and thyroid medication should not be taken with calcium or iron supplements, antacids or cholesterol-lowering medication. According to "Overcoming Thyroid Problems, "these medications can interfere with the hormone-replacement therapy of the thyroid medication. You should take Unithroid as prescribed. Side effects of the medication include nervousness, insomnia, headache, menstrual changes and weight changes.
Similar to the other medications, Synthroid is a synthetic thyroid medication that must be taken for life in order to control hypothyroidism. The medication should not be used solely for weight loss due to life-threatening side effects, according to "Overcoming Thyroid Problems."
The drug company's official website warns you should not take this medication in combination with antacids, iron or calcium supplements as they can decrease absorption of Synthroid into the blood. Follow your doctor's dosage instruction closely, and notify her if you experience any of the following symptoms: chest pain, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea.
- The Everything Health Guide to Thyroid Disease; Theodore C. Friedman; October 2006
- The Harvard Medical School Guide to Overcoming Thyroid Problems; Jeffrey R. Garber; May 2005
- Hypothyroidism: Mayo Clinic
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