Medications for Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
Other names: Low Thyroid; Thyroid, Underactive
An underactive thyroid is also known as hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones to keep your metabolism and other body processes functioning at a good level.
Your thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland that is located on the front part of your lower neck. It controls your metabolism, which is essentially how the cells in your body use energy gained from food. Low thyroid levels cause your metabolism to become sluggish, which in turn lowers your body temperature, slows your heart rate, and decreases the rate in which you burn calories.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be vague and may be confused with other conditions. More common symptoms include:
- Greater sensitivity to cold
- A slow heart rate
- Dry hair and hair loss
- Dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Swelling of the thyroid gland.
One in every 3000 to 4000 babies are born with hypothyroidism. This is called congenital hypothyroidism and occurs because the thyroid gland does not develop or function properly. It is usually permanent and life-long. Symptoms may not be obvious and may include:
- Poor feeding
- Cold hands and feet
- Extreme sleepiness
- A weak or hoarse cry
- Little or no growth
- Poor muscle tone (floppy infant)
- Persistent jaundice
- Puffy face or a swollen tongue
- Stomach bloating.
How is Hypothyroidism Diagnosed?
Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect your thyroid levels may be low, or if your baby has symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Your doctor will examine your neck and inspect your thyroid gland which may be enlarged. Your heart rate may be checked as well as your knee and ankle reflexes to see if they respond more slowly.
Blood tests that measure the levels of thyroid hormones and serum TSH will be ordered, and possibly other tests such as those for cholesterol which is often abnormal in people with hypothyroidism. Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on the results of all these tests.
How is Hypothyroidism Treated?
Hypothyroidism is treated by replacing the missing thyroid hormones with oral synthetic thyroid hormones, such as levothyroxine, liothyronine, or liotrix.
Regular blood tests are needed to make sure that you are taking the right dose for your body, as the dosage can vary among people. Pregnant women may need higher dosages of thyroid hormone during pregnancy, and some foods and medications can affect the absorption and levels in the blood of replacement thyroid hormones.
Drugs used to treat Underactive Thyroid
The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the best way to reduce swelling in your face?
- Does Armour Thyroid cause weight gain or weight loss?
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- Does Cytomel help with weight loss?
- Can Armour Thyroid make you tired?
- Can Tirosint cause weight gain or loss?
Topics under Underactive Thyroid
Learn more about Underactive Thyroid
- Acquired Hypothyroidism in Children
- Congenital Hypothyroidism in Children
- Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy
- Induced Thyroid Disorders
- Subclinical Hyperthyroidism
- Subclinical Hypothyroidism
Symptoms and treatments
Medicine.com guides (external)
|Rating||For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).|
|Activity||Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.|
|Rx/OTC||Prescription or Over-the-counter.|
|Off-label||This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.|
|EUA||An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.|
|Expanded Access||Expanded Access is a potential pathway for a patient with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or condition to gain access to an investigational medical product (drug, biologic, or medical device) for treatment outside of clinical trials when no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy options are available.|
|A||Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).|
|B||Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.|
|C||Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.|
|D||There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.|
|X||Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.|
|N||FDA has not classified the drug.|
|Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule|
|M||The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.|
|U||CSA Schedule is unknown.|
|N||Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.|
|1||Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.|
|2||Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.|
|3||Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.|
|4||Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.|
|5||Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.|
|X||Interacts with Alcohol.|
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