THYROXINE

Drug name: Levothyroxine

Use: Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)

Thyroxine (T4) is indicated for the treatment of hypothyroidism. The dose is usually adjusted according to response and blood test results.

A pre-treatment ECG is recommended so that a baseline reading is on record (changes induced by hypothyroidism may be confused with ischaemia).

Cautions:

- adrenal insufficiency
- elderly
- heart disease
- diabetes
- pregnancy & breast feeding

Contraindications:

- thyrotoxicosis ("thyroid storm")

Side effects:

Side effects are dose related:

- anginal chest pain, arrythmia, palpitations, rapid heart rate, muscle cramps, stomach upset, tremor, insomnia, headache, flushing, weight loss, heat intolerance.

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