Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 5, 2023.
In euthyroid patients, doses within the range of daily hormonal requirements are ineffective for weight reduction. Larger doses may produce serious or even life-threatening manifestations of toxicity, particularly when given in association with sympathomimetic amines such as those used for their anorectic effects .
Uses for liothyronine
Liothyronine is used to treat myxedema coma or precoma, a very serious complication of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone .
Liothyronine injection can be used as a substitute for the oral dose when a rapid effect is needed and when the oral route is not allowed .
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription .
Before using liothyronine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Limited information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of liothyronine injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established .
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of liothyronine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney or heart and blood vessel problems, which may require adjustment of dosage in patients receiving liothyronine .
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Ethinyl Estradiol
- Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Adrenal insufficiency (untreated) or
- Thyrotoxicosis (untreated; overactive thyroid)—This medicine should NOT be used in patients with any of these conditions .
- Clotting disorder or
- Diabetes or
- Heart disease (history of) or
- Myxedema (skin or tissue disorder caused by hypothyroidism) or
- Other adrenal gland problems or
- Underactive pituitary gland—Use with caution. Dosage adjustment may be needed .
Proper use of liothyronine
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For injection dosage form:
- For the treatment of myxedema coma or precoma:
- Adults—25 to 50 micrograms (mcg) injected into a vein. Doses are normally given at least 4 to 12 hours apart. People with very serious conditions caused by too little thyroid hormone may need higher doses. Lower doses (10 to 20 mcg) may be given to patients with known or suspected cardiovascular disease.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .
- For the treatment of myxedema coma or precoma:
Precautions while using liothyronine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests will be needed to check for unwanted effects .
Liothyronine should not be given to patients who are also using artificial rewarmers .
Liothyronine should not be used for the treatment of obesity or for the purpose of losing weight. This medicine is ineffective for weight reduction and when taken in larger amount, it may cause more serious medical conditions .
Hypothyroidism can sometimes cause infertility in men and women. Liothyronine should not be used for the treatment of infertility unless it is caused by hypothyroidism .
Side Effects of liothyronine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- Bluish color
- blurred vision
- changes in skin color
- chest pain or discomfort
- chest tightness or heaviness
- decreased urine output
- dilated neck veins
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- extreme fatigue
- heart stops
- irregular breathing
- no breathing
- no pulse or blood pressure
- pain or discomfort in arms, jaw, back or neck
- pain, tenderness, swelling of foot or leg
- pounding in the ears
- shortness of breath
- swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- troubled breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight gain
Symptoms of overdose
- Cold clammy skin
- increased bowel movements
- menstrual changes
- shakiness in legs, arms, hands, feet
- trembling or shaking of hands or feet
- weak pulse
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Thyroid Supplement
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