Westhroid

Generic Name: thyroid desiccated (THYE roid (DES i kay ted))
Brand Name: Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid, Westhroid

What is desiccated thyroid?

Desiccated (dried) thyroid is a combination of hormones that are normally produced by your thyroid gland to regulate the body's energy and metabolism. Desiccated thyroid is given when the thyroid does not produce enough of this hormone on its own.

Desiccated thyroid treats hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). Desiccated thyroid is also used to treat or prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), and is also given as part of a medical tests for thyroid disorders.

Desiccated thyroid should not be used to treat obesity or weight problems.

Desiccated thyroid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about desiccated thyroid?

Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take desiccated thyroid. However, you may not be able to use this medication if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.

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Call your doctor if you notice any signs of thyroid toxicity, such as chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, feeling hot or nervous, or sweating more than usual.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking desiccated thyroid?

Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take desiccated thyroid. However, you may not be able to use this medication if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.

To make sure desiccated thyroid is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, angina (chest pain);

  • coronary artery disease;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • any type of diabetes; or

  • problems with your adrenal gland.

FDA pregnancy category A. Desiccated thyroid is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, tell your doctor if you become pregnant, since your dose needs may change.

Small amounts of desiccated thyroid can pass into breast milk, but this is not expected to harm a nursing baby. However, do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take desiccated thyroid?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

While using desiccated thyroid, you may need frequent blood tests at your doctor's office.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. You may need to take thyroid medication for the rest of your life.

Call your doctor if you notice any signs of thyroid toxicity, such as chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, feeling hot or nervous, or sweating more than usual.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using desiccated thyroid. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking desiccated thyroid?

If you also take cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran) or colestipol (Colestid), avoid taking these medications within 4 hours before or after you take desiccated thyroid.

Avoid taking an antacid within 4 hours before or after you take desiccated thyroid. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb desiccated thyroid.

Desiccated thyroid side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Common side effects may include temporary hair loss (especially in children).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect desiccated thyroid?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with desiccated thyroid, especially:

  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin;

  • insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth;

  • medications that contain iodine (such as I-131);

  • salicylates such as aspirin, Nuprin Backache Caplet, Kaopectate, KneeRelief, Pamprin Cramp Formula, Pepto-Bismol, Tricosal, Trilisate; or

  • steroids such as prednisone and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with desiccated thyroid, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about desiccated thyroid.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.06. Revision Date: 2013-06-26, 12:52:48 PM.

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