Brand Name Choices
No generic medication is available for Levoxyl (Levothyroxine Sodium)
What Levoxyl is and what it is used for
Thyroxine is a hormone which is produced naturally in the body by the thyroid gland. Levothyroxine is a synthetic version of this hormone. Thyroxine controls how much energy your body uses. When the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroxine (a condition known as hypothyroidism), many of the body’s functions slow down. Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
• weight gain
• feeling depressed Eltroxin tablets are used to replace the thyroxine that your thyroid gland cannot produce and prevent the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Before starting your treatment your doctor will carry out a blood test to work out how much levothyroxine you need
How to take Levoxyl
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. You may be taking this medicine for the rest of your life. Your dose will be decided by your doctor and will depend on the results of your blood tests. The dose you should take will be on the label attached by your pharmacist. Swallow the tablets with plenty of water. You should usually take your tablets before breakfast or your first meal of the day. Adults: The recommended starting dose is 50 – 100 micrograms every day. Your doctor may increase the dose you take every 3 – 4 weeks by 50 micrograms until your thyroxine levels are correct. Your final daily dose may be up to 100 – 200 micrograms daily. Patients over 50 years of age: The recommended starting dose will be no more than 50 micrograms every day. The dose may then be increased by 50 micrograms every 3 – 4 weeks until your thyroxine levels are correct. Your final daily dose will be between 50 – 200 micrograms daily. Patients over 50 years of age with heart problems: The recommended starting dose will be 25 micrograms every day or 50 micrograms every other day. The dose may be increased by 25 micrograms every 4 weeks until your thyroxine levels are correct. Your final daily dose will usually be between 50 – 200 micrograms daily. Use in children and adolescents: For young children, your doctor is likely to prescribe Levothyroxine Oral Solution instead of tablets. Congenital hypothyroidism in infants: This is a condition where your baby has been born with a thyroid gland that does not produce enough thyroxine. The starting dose is 10 -15 micrograms/kg bodyweight per day for the first three months. The dose will then be adjusted depending on how your baby responds to the treatment. Acquired hypothyroidism in children: This is a condition where your child’s thyroid gland stops working properly because it has been attacked by their immune system, e.g. in children with an autoimmune disease or following a viral infection. The starting dose is 12.5 – 50 micrograms per day. The dose will then be increased every 2
•4 weeks depending on how your child responds to the medicine. Juvenile myxoedema: This is a condition where children and adolescents develop severe hypothyroidism (produce very low levels of thyroid hormones). The starting dose is 25 micrograms every day. The dose will then be increased by 25 micrograms every 2 – 4 weeks until your child shows mild symptoms of hyperthyroidism (a condition where the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine). The dose will then be reduced slightly. If you take more Eltroxin Tablets than you should: If you (or someone else) swallow a lot of the tablets at the same time, or you think a child may have swallowed some, contact your nearest hospital casualty department or tell your doctor immediately. Signs of an overdose may include: fever, chest pain (angina), racing or irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, headache, restlessness, flushing, sweating and diarrhoea. These signs can take up to 5 days to appear. Take any remaining tablets and this leaflet with you so that the medical staff knows exactly what you have taken. If you forget to take Eltroxin Tablets: If you forget to take a dose take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. If you forget to give your child their dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for further advice. If you stop taking Eltroxin Tablets: These tablets are for long term use. You may need to take them for the rest of your life. Do not stop taking the tablets unless your doctor has told you to do so. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Stop taking the tablets and go to hospital at once if you have:
• a rare allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, tongue, lips and throat, difficulty breathing, severe itching of your skin with raised lumps, joint pain, sensitivity to the sun, general feeling of being unwell. You may need urgent medical attention. Some patients may experience a severe reaction to high levels of thyroid hormone. This is called a “thyroid crisis” and you should contact your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
• very high temperature; fast heart rate; irregular heartbeat; low blood pressure; heart failure; jaundice; confusion; fits and coma. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side effects continue, get worse or if you notice any other side effects not listed. Most of the side effects are similar to the symptoms of hyperthyroidism (where the thyroid gland makes too much thyroxine) and are due to your dose of the medicine being too high. They will usually disappear after reducing the dose or stopping the tablets. However, you must not change the dose or stop the tablets without talking to your doctor first.
Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data)
• high temperature, sweating
• weight loss
• tremor, restlessness, excitability, difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
• increased pressure around the brain in children that is not caused by a tumour or other diseases (benign intracranial hypertension)
• chest pain (angina), pounding, irregular or fast heartbeat
• diarrhoea, vomiting
• muscle cramps, muscle weakness
• deformity of the skull in infants caused by the early closure of joints in the skull bone (craniostenosis)
• growth in children may slow or stop due to changes in bone growth
• irregular periods
• intolerance to heat
• temporary hair loss in children.
Reporting of side effects: If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine
How to Store Levoxyl
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton after EXP. Do not store above 25°C. Store in the original package in order to protect from light and moisture. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month. Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.
2 to 3 weeks on average
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