Liothyronine

Brand names of liothyronine

  • Armour Thyroid
  • Cyronine
  • Cytomel
  • Euthroid [CD]
  • Thyroid USP
  • Thyrolar [CD]
  • Triostat

Liothyronine is a synthetically prepared oral medication that is used to treat poor production of thyroid hormone both in adults and children. Liothyronine is actually one of the two hormones produced by the thyroid gland by means of iodination as well as coupling of the amino acid tyrosine. This prescription medication encloses triiodothyronine (T3, liothyronine sodium), tetraiodothyronine (T4, Levothyroxine) or both the drugs. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland enhance the metabolism of all the cells in our body. In the case of the fetus, infants, newborns, children, the hormones produced by the thyroid gland support growth as well as tissue development. On the other hand, among adults, thyroid hormones facilitate in sustaining the functioning of the brain, body temperature as well as the use of ingested food by the body.

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking liothyronine

As in the case of starting treatment with any new drug, you need to adopt a number of precautions before you start taking liothyronine. First and foremost, before you take this medication for the first time, tell your physician or pharmacist if you have any allergic reactions to liothyronine, thyroid hormone or any other medication. In addition, inform your physician and pharmacist regarding all the prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs you are taking currently, particularly if they include antacids, amphetamines and anticoagulants (blood thinners). It is also important to tell your physician if you are taking any anti-cancer medication, beta blockers, aspirin, arthritis medications, medications for lowering cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, for instance colestipol (Colestid) or cholestyramine (Questran), medications to treat diabetes (either insulin or tablets or both), estrogen, methadone, iron, digoxin (Lanoxin), oral contraceptives, sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate), phenytoin (Dilantin), theophylline (TheoDur), steroids, sucralfate (Carafate) and/ or vitamins.

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In case you are also taking cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid) to lower the cholesterol levels in your bloodstream, you should always take liothyronine at least four hours before or one hour after taking these medications. These medications are known to obstruct the complete absorption of liothyronine by the body and, hence, needed to be taken at adequate intervals.

Before starting treatment with liothyronine, it is important to inform your physician regarding your medical conditions and entire medical history. Especially, tell your physician if you are enduring or have ever suffered from kidney ailments, diabetes, hepatitis, a poorly functioning adrenal or pituitary gland or any cardiovascular ailment, for instance atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), hypertension (high blood pressure), arrhythmias (any disorder in the heartbeat rhythm) and/ or heart attack.

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Women enduring hypothyroidism and intending to start treatment with liothyronine should tell their physician before hand if they are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or are breast feeding. If any woman taking this medication becomes pregnant during the course of the treatment she should immediately contact her physician and seek advice regarding her subsequent actions. On the other hand, if any patient taking liothyronine needs to undergo a surgery or dental operation, he/ she should tell their surgeon or dentist that they are taking this medication.

Usage

The synthetically prepared medication liothyronine has been indicated for treating hypothyroidism or poor production of thyroid hormone both in children as well as adults. It may be noted that people who have been enduring hyperthyroidism for a prolonged period may develop a certain health condition known as myxedema, wherein the patients have puffy lips, thickened nose as well as abnormal material deposits on their skin that are dry and wax-like. In effect, apart from the skin, such unusual deposits may also appear on other tissues of the body. In addition, liothyronine is also utilized in an examination of the thyroid gland to find out if the thyroid is performing as it should.

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Liothyronine is prepared with the same chemicals that are found in the thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland in our body and, hence, it can easily substitute for the normal thyroid hormones. There are a number of factors that may result in low thyroid levels in the body - it may happen naturally or even when the thyroid gland is damaged owing to medication/ radiation or removed by means of an operation. Having the right levels of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream is essential for it helps to regulate the normal mental as well as physical activities of an individual.

Many physicians also prescribe liothyronine to decrease the function of thyroid gland in specific conditions, for instance, when a patient endures a distended thyroid gland, also known as goiter, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (a chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis - an autoimmune disease wherein the thyroid gland is slowly damaged by an assortment of cells). As mentioned earlier, liothyronine is a synthetically prepared hormone that substitutes the naturally occurring thyroid hormone (T3) of the body.

How to use liothyronine

Liothyronine should be taken orally either with or without food. Generally, this medication is taken once in the morning or as prescribed by your physician. The dosage of liothyronine is largely dependent on the patient's medical condition, thyroid levels as well as his/ her response to the treatment with this medication.

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It is advisable to take liothyronine at least four hours prior to or following taking any product that may contain iron or aluminum, for instance, antacids, vitamins/ minerals and sucralfate. The same rule applies if you are taking colestipol or cholestyramine - take liothyronine four hours before or at least one hour after taking these medications. This is primarily owing to the fact that the above mentioned medications interact with liothyronine reducing the complete absorption of the hypothyroid medication by the body and, thereby, lessen its impact.

If you want to get the utmost benefit of using liothyronine, you ought to take this medication regularly and in order to help you when to take the medication daily, take it around the same time every day. It is important to note that people taking liothyronine should not discontinue it all of a sudden, but only after consulting their physician and seeking his/ her approval.

People enduring low levels of thyroid usually experience symptoms such as muscle aches, tiredness, dry skin, weight gain, constipation, slower heart rate as well as sensitivity to cold. However, as your body adjusts to liothyronine, these symptoms are ought to lessen. However, it may take many days after you start taking liothyronine before you can actually experience improvements in your medical condition. In case your condition does not show any improvement even after taking this medication for two to three days, or if it deteriorates further contact your doctor and seek advice on what needs to be done next.

In the event of missing a dose of the medication, it is advisable to take it at the earliest after you remember. However, if it is already time for the next normal dose, omit the skipped dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Unless your physician has instructed otherwise, never ever take a double or excessive dose of the medication to catch up with the missed dose. In case you have missed two or more consecutive doses by some change, contact your physician immediately. Prior to beginning treatment with liothyronine, ask your physician as to what you should precisely do if you happen to miss any dose of this medication and follow his/ her instructions strictly.

How liothyronine works

As mentioned earlier, liothyronine is a synthetically prepared thyroid hormone for treating hypothyroid. This medication works in the same way as the natural thyroid hormone produced by the body and, hence, it also serves as a substitute for the natural thyroid hormone. This medication is primarily given to people whose body is unable to produce adequate thyroid hormone by itself.

Side effects

Serious
Common
Less common

Possible interactions

Like most other drugs, even liothyronine may interact with certain medications, including herbal products, vitamins and minerals and hence, it is advisable to avoid using them concurrently. For instance horseradish root is likely to deteriorate hypothyroidism (low production of thyroid hormone by the body) or may even lessen the impact of therapy with liothyronine considerably. If you are taking any calcium dose, it is advisable that there should be an interval of around four hours between taking liothyronine and the calcium medication. In addition consumption of cabbage and ingesting iodine are also likely to deteriorate goiters and aggravate hypothyroidism. Even gamma oryzanol, which is obtained from rice bran oil, has the potential to lessen thyroid production as well as modify or alter the results of thyroid tests.

It may be noted that a naturally occurring metabolite of triiodothyronine and thyroxine called tiratricol may theoretically aggravate the undesirable actions as well as effects of bungleweed, balm leaf and wild thyme. Therefore, it is important to consult your physician before you add any new herbal product to the existing list of medications taken by you currently.

Liothyronine has the potential to diminish a patient's level of tolerance to warm climatic conditions/ environments and, thereby, aggravate his/ her uneasiness owing to exposure to heat. In case you develop the symptoms of overdose of the medication during the warmer months, consult your physician regarding what action you should take. People taking liothyronine should also avoid undertaking heavy exercises or any type of physical exertion. In case you are already enduring angina, you should exercise additional precaution while taking this medication. It has been found that liothyronine has the potential to enhance the rate of occurrence or the acuteness of angina attacks when the patient undertakes any strenuous physical activity.

Discontinuation

To obtain the best results, liothyronine ought to be taken continuously and on a regular basis. Doing so will help to rectify the thyroid deficiency or hypothyroidism endured by you. It is advisable not to stop taking this medication all of a sudden. If you want to discontinue the medication, consult your physician and seek his/ her approval before you stop taking the medicine for good.

Storage instructions

The synthetically prepared hypothyroidism medication liothyronine should always be stored at room temperature at 77°F (25°C), however, storing it for a brief while in temperature ranges between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C) is permissible. Liothyronine should also be kept in a place that is dark and dry. Never store this medication in your bathroom, which is mostly damp. In addition, it is important to remember that you should keep all medications in such a place that is beyond the reach of children and pets.

Unless you have been instructed otherwise, never discard the medications that have passed their expiry date or are no longer needed by flushing them down the toilet or pouring them into a drain. It is always important to dispose of all unused or unwanted medications in a proper and safe manner. If required, you may talk to your pharmacist or the neighbourhood waste disposal company to advice you on the right way to discard your product.

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