Are foggy brain and exhaustion chasing you around all the time? Your doctor might diagnose you with a hypothyroid condition and prescribe Synthroid. Synthroid side effects good and bad are well-documented, as side effects are with any medication. Sometimes, they go away within a short period after taking the drug, while other times, they are more persistent.
In either case, if you experience any side effects, you should contact your doctor immediately, and always consult your doctor before starting or stopping any medication. Also, the information provided here is informational only, and does not substitute for your doctor, or serve as medical advice.
Watch this video from Dr. Westin Childs where he explained the Synthroid side effects:
The History of Synthroid
Synthroid is a synthetic version of thyroxine, or “T4,” a hormone the thyroid gland normally produces in humans. The underproduction of this hormone is called hypothyroidism. Thyroxine, aka T4, was first isolated from thyroid extract in the early part of the 20th century, and it was in common use by 1927. The use of Synthroid to treat hypothyroidism dates back almost a hundred years and Synthroid side effects are just as old.
That the drug has been in use for this long shows that it is a trusted medication to help restore a normal balance of the thyroid hormone T4 in people with hypothyroidism.
In spite of the wide use of Synthroid, It was not recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until 2001, 46 years after it was first sold to consumers. Part of the early problems with Synthroid and its counterpart drugs arose from potency. Also, new drugs were not tested for safety until the late 1930s.
In 1962, when the FDA was overhauled, the rules were tightened on new drugs. Those drugs marketed between 1938 and 1962 were called in to be scrutinized for efficacy as well. Within that period, in 1955, the other versions of Synthroid being sold were not as popular — in spite of the many Synthroid side effects.
The brand name, Synthroid, actually describes the medication better than its chemical name, which is levothyroxine sodium. Synthroid is a synthetic product. Although no brands are specified, thyroxine sodium is listed on the World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines.
Your Thyroid Gland
This small, butterfly-shaped gland hugs your neck just below your Adam’s apple, and it regulates functions in your brain, heart, liver, kidneys, and skin through the use of hormones.
The most important function of this gland is the regulation of your metabolism. Because the thyroid gland plays such a vital role in your body, Synthroid side effects from incorrect dosages can be quite debilitating. This is why you must take your medication regimen seriously and pay attention to how Synthroid affects you.
When the thyroid gland doesn’t work
When the thyroid gland stops producing hormones in the correct amount, the whole body begins to suffer. The resulting condition, hypothyroidism, causes your body’s functions to begin to slow. Conversely, when the thyroid overproduces hormones, it causes a different kind of suffering. This resulting condition, hyperthyroidism, causes your body’s functions to speed up.
Synthroid And Its Alternatives
Synthroid makes up for the lack of hormone production in people who have hypothyroidism. Generic and other name brand formulations work in the same way.
The top brand name preparations of levothyroxine sodium in the U.S. are Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, and Unithroid. There can be differences when changing brands or when using generics because of the way manufacturers make the drugs. Some of the differences commonly noted by physicians, whose patients have switched to a generic or a different name brand altogether, include:
- The potencies of different drugs
- The amount of levothyroxine sodium circulates in the body after taking a dose
- How much levothyroxine sodium the body can absorb
- How much levothyroxine sodium an actual tablet contains
If symptoms persist, work with your doctor until you reach a happy medium, and you can enjoy a good quality of life again. If you want to stay healthy, you have to listen to your body. This is not rocket science, but it does take some patients a trial and error period to adjust and learn, as well as awareness afterward.
Synthroid Side Effects & Dosage
Sometimes, bad Synthroid side effects are not necessarily a result of taking the drug, but they may come from not taking the correct dose of the drug. For this reason, physicians closely monitor patients for the first year. Patients check in every six months to a year after the initial year to ensure that the dose they take works correctly for them.
Some of the negative side effects you may experience while taking Synthroid at any dosage include:
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Decreased bone density
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Inability to tolerate heat
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Change in appetite
- Leg cramps
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle weakness
- Impaired fertility
Avoiding Synthroid Side Effects
You can prevent bad Synthroid side effects. Often you will experience relief when you take your medication as prescribed and results could come quickly if you follow a basic routine daily:
- Immediately take the exact dose when you wake up each morning.
- Take Synthroid at the same time (if possible) in the morning.
- Take your Synthroid while still fasting — which means BEFORE your morning coffee.
Realistically speaking, from the moment you began using Synthroid to regulate your thyroid gland, you began a life-long regimen of treatment for hypothyroidism. Don’t be fooled by insurance companies wanting to switch you to another brand.
Length of Time You Must Take Synthroid
Synthroid is only one of the brands on the list of prescribed, synthetic medications for hypothyroidism. Once you start taking medication for this condition, you will be advised to take the same brand for the rest of your life. The premise behind this reasoning lies in the manufacturing of the drug.
Since there are some brand names for the chemical levothyroxine sodium, each one may have subtle differences in the bioavailability or the way your body absorbs the medication. This is why most doctors will advise patients to stay with the same drug. In other words, there can be subtle differences in the manufacturing process, and those differences can directly affect the way your body uses the drug.
Taking Synthroid to Lose Weight
Have you ever heard anyone say that Synthroid will speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight? Do not believe this premise. Taking a drug like levothyroxine sodium without considering Synthroid side effects is just plain dangerous.
The healthy path to weight loss requires self-discipline about exercise and the amount and type of food intake. Do not skip the obvious way to lose weight in favor of trying to regulate the thyroid gland with your Synthroid dose. Synthroid weight loss is a medical side effect.
The function of the thyroid gland in your body is to produce certain amounts of hormones. These amounts are exact, and they regulate the speed at which your heart, liver, kidneys, brain, and skin perform normally. Synthroid side effects in any of these organs can be life-threatening. You should only take this medication as prescribed by a doctor for hypothyroidism.
Furthermore, if you take too much Synthroid to speed up your metabolism, it can dramatically alter your heart rate and can also accelerate bone loss. People who abuse Synthroid correct dose of the drug are at worst and osteoporosis at best.
Experience the Benefits
After the first few weeks of finding a medication level that works, you will usually begin to see positive results. The absence of Synthroid side effects is usually dramatic. A few of the more impressive upshots, which have been reported, are improved psychological wellbeing, higher energy levels, improved control over anxiety and depression, greater motivation, fewer body aches and pains, and an overall sense of vitality.
Healthy Thyroid Gland and Lifestyle Improvement
If you’re suffering from hypothyroidism, finding the right medication can make all the difference. Getting your hormones balanced leads to a healthier, happier life. However, again, it is important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you’re experiencing adverse Synthroid side effects, make sure you talk to your doctor as soon as you possibly can.