Cytomel is used for treating an underactive thyroid and various types of goiters. It can also be used in certain thyroid diagnostic tests. The thyroid replacement medication is approved for use in adults, children, and infants. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend off-label Cytomel uses, such as treating depression (when used in combination with antidepressants).
Cytomel® (liothyronine sodium) is a prescription medication that is a manufactured version of liothyronine, a thyroid hormone. It is approved to:
- Treat an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Treat various types of goiters (including thyroid nodules)
- Aid in the diagnosis of certain thyroid problems.
Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) is a common medical problem. It can occur as the result of two very different problems. It can occur due to an inflammation of the thyroid or other problems that cause it to be underactive, or it can be caused by treatments for other thyroid problems, such as an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Part of the thyroid is often intentionally destroyed, using surgery or other treatments, in order to treat cancer, nodules, or hyperthyroidism. However, it is common to destroy too much of the thyroid, leaving people with an underactive thyroid.
Either way, the end result is the same -- the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which results in the following hypothyroidism symptoms:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Feeling cold all the time
- Weight gain
- Coarse, dry hair
- Skin that is dry, rough, and pale
- Hair loss
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
- A decreased sex drive
- Muscle cramps
- Memory loss.
As you can see, many of these symptoms can be subtle, and many people blame aging or stress, without realizing they have a thyroid problem. Cytomel works to boost the body's thyroid hormone levels, which can work wonders for the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
It is important to understand that with Cytomel, more is not necessarily better. Taking too much will cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism, some of which can be quite dangerous. This is why your healthcare provider will carefully monitor you, using blood tests, to make sure you are not taking too much or too little Cytomel.