Generic name: Levothyroxine Capsules [ lee-voe-thye-ROKS-een ]
Brand name: Tirosint
Drug class: Thyroid drugs
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 28, 2022.
- Do not use this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) to treat obesity or for weight loss. Very bad and sometimes deadly side effects may happen with this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) if it is taken in large doses or with other drugs for weight loss. Talk with the doctor.
Uses of Levothyroxine Capsules:
- It is used to add thyroid hormone to the body.
- It is used to manage thyroid cancer.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Levothyroxine Capsules?
- If you have an allergy to levothyroxine or any other part of this medicine (levothyroxine capsules).
- If you are allergic to this medicine (levothyroxine capsules); any part of this medicine (levothyroxine capsules); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Overactive thyroid gland or weak adrenal gland.
- If you have trouble swallowing.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine (levothyroxine capsules).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Levothyroxine Capsules?
For all patients taking this medicine (levothyroxine capsules):
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine (levothyroxine capsules). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Do not run out of this medicine (levothyroxine capsules).
- It may take several weeks to see the full effects.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) may sometimes raise blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar under control.
- Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause weak bones (osteoporosis) with doses that are too high. The risk may be higher in women who have been through menopause. Talk with your doctor to see if you have a higher risk of weak bones or if you have any questions.
- This medicine may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child.
- If you are 65 or older, use this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
- If giving this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) to your child and your child's weight changes, talk with the doctor. The dose of this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) may need to be changed.
- This medicine may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.
How is this medicine (Levothyroxine Capsules) best taken?
Use this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take on an empty stomach at least 30 to 60 minutes before breakfast.
- Swallow capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Do not take iron products, antacids that have aluminum or magnesium, or calcium carbonate, within 4 hours before or 4 hours after taking this medicine (levothyroxine capsules).
- If you take colesevelam, colestipol, cholestyramine, kayexalate, or sevelamer, take it at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after taking this drug.
- Some other drugs may need to be taken at some other time than this medicine (levothyroxine capsules). If you take other drugs, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if you need to take them at some other time than this medicine (levothyroxine capsules).
- Some foods like soybean flour (infant formula) may change how this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) works in your body. Talk with your doctor.
- If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
- There is more than 1 brand of this medicine (levothyroxine capsules). One brand cannot safely be used for the other. The doctor will tell you about any needed change.
- Keep taking this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Fast or abnormal heartbeat.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Feeling more or less hungry.
- A change in weight without trying.
- Stomach cramps.
- Throwing up.
- Feeling irritable.
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
- Emotional ups and downs.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Bothered by heat.
- Sweating a lot.
- Muscle cramps.
- Muscle weakness.
- Bone pain.
- Period (menstrual) changes.
What are some other side effects of Levothyroxine Capsules?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Hair loss may happen in some people in the first few months of using this medicine (levothyroxine capsules). This most often goes back to normal.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Levothyroxine Capsules?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from heat and light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Do not take this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) out of the blister pack until you are ready to take it. Take this medicine (levothyroxine capsules) right away after opening the blister pack. Do not store the removed drug for future use.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine (levothyroxine capsules), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
- Does levothyroxine cause weight gain or loss?
- How soon after taking levothyroxine can I take omeprazole?
- What happens if you stop taking levothyroxine?
- What can I eat for breakfast after taking levothyroxine?
- Can I take other medications with levothyroxine?
- Does levothyroxine cause hair loss?
- How long after taking levothyroxine can you drink milk?
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