Levothyroxine is the generic name for the drugs Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, and Unithroid. It's primarily used to treat hypothyroidism but may also be employed to treat or prevent lymphocytic thyroiditis, euthyroid or thyroid goiters and nodules and particular types of thyroid cancer. The thyroid gland is responsible for manufacturing a hormone that controls the body's level of energy and metabolism. When it fails to create a sufficient amount, Levothyroxine is used as a hormonal substitute to make up for the deficiency.


The 2 hormones made by the thyroid gland, levothyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) play a critical, regarding the development of a person's central nervous system, bone growth and overall metabolic actions. Those who suffer from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and similar thyroid troubles may be prescribed the medication Levothyroxine to increase their levels.


Although Levothyroxine is artificially made, it's identical to the T4 hormone that the body produces. It works to increases the body's thyroid hormone levels, so the negative side effects and symptoms associated with hypothyroidism are no longer greatly reduced. The body cannot differentiate between Levothyroxine and the T4 hormone it naturally creates.


The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is in charge of dictating the number of thyroid hormones that the thyroid gland generates. TSH is supposed to rise and fuel the thyroid to produce additional hormones when the levels are low and direct the thyroid to produce smaller amounts of hormones when the levels are high. Levothyroxine works to stabilize the hormone levels and correct the imbalances.


The dosage of Levothyroxine prescribed tends to vary according to a number of factors including the patient's age, weight, specific condition, other medications currently being taken, response to the medication, tolerability and effectiveness. Levothyroxine is also considered to have a long half-life; so a dosage's peak therapeutic effect can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to be achieved. Levothyroxine tablets are generally taken once a day in the morning.


People taking Levothyroxine are required to get their blood drawn at different intervals to monitor their levels and thyroid function as well as to help determine if the current dose needs to be modified. Like all medications, there is a potential for side effects. Common side effects of Levothyroxine include changes in appetite, fatigue, headache, weakness, insomnia, excessive sweating, hyperactivity and anxiety.