What is Levoxyl&Reg;?

Renee Booker

Levoxyl® is a brand name for levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone generally used to treat hypothyroidism and goiter. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce adequate thyroid hormone. For sufferers of hypothyroidism, Levoxyl® provides the body with a replacement for the thyroid hormone that it is missing. As with most medications, Levoxyl® is known to cause some side effects, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, changes in menstrual cycle and nervousness.

Levoxyl® is used to treat hypothyroidism and goiters.
Levoxyl® is used to treat hypothyroidism and goiters.

The thyroid regulates the body's level of energy as well as its metabolism. When the thyroid gland is not functioning properly and fails to produce enough thyroid hormone, it can play havoc with the body's metabolism as well as noticeably affect the person's energy level. Goiter is also a condition that affects the thyroid, and it results in an enlarged thyroid gland. Left untreated, goiter can lead to an enlargement of the throat or larynx and in extreme cases can cause difficulty breathing or swallowing. Both of these conditions can be treated with Levoxyl®.

Levoxyl® is a tablet that generally is prescribed to be taken once a day on an empty stomach. A doctor might start a patient on a low dose and gradually increase the dosage if necessary. Levoxyl® is prescribed as a replacement hormone, so it might take a few weeks to build up in the patient's system to the point where he or she is able to notice a change in the symptoms of the condition for which he or she is being treated.

If the dosage is incorrect, the patient might suffer symptoms of an over-active thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism. These symptoms might include insomnia, hyperactivity and hair loss. Although weight loss is a common side effect, this medication should not be taken as a weight loss drug. Normal doses of Levoxyl® have not been shown to cause a significant weight loss, and increasing the dosage to a level that significantly affects weight loss could have life-threatening medical consequences.

Levoxyl® is contraindicated by anyone who has acute myocardial infarction or an uncorrected adrenal insufficiency. This also is the case for anyone who has a known allergy to any of the inactive ingredients in Levoxyl®. As with all medications, patients discuss with their doctors all of their allergies and other medications being taken before starting to use Levoxyl®.

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