Endocrine System Home > Westhroid Warnings and Precautions
Before taking Westhroid, warnings and precautions for the drug should be discussed with your healthcare provider to reduce risks and help ensure safe treatment. Tell your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions you have before starting Westhroid. Warnings and precautions also apply to people who have hyperthyroidism or a low TSH, are allergic to any components of the medication, or have untreated adrenal insufficiency.
- Adrenal insufficiency
- An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Any heart problems, including a recent heart attack
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Westhroid include the following:
- If you have diabetes, it is a good idea to check your blood sugar more often when starting or stopping Westhroid or when changing your dose, as the medication can affect your blood sugar. Your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dose of your diabetes medications.
- People who do not have documented thyroid problems should never use Westhroid to lose weight (or for any other reason). A Westhroid dosage that is high enough to cause weight loss in such people is often high enough to cause serious or even life-threatening problems. Your healthcare provider cannot diagnose a thyroid problem based solely on symptoms without doing any blood tests, although some unscrupulous healthcare providers may do so.
- The medication can make heart problems worse. Therefore, if you have heart problems, your healthcare provider should start you at a low dosage and slowly increase it. If you notice your heart symptoms becoming worse while taking Westhroid, let your healthcare provider know right away.
- Westhroid is made from pig thyroid glands. This is important if you have a pork allergy or do not consume pork for religious reasons.
- The medication should not be used to treat goiters or thyroid nodules in people who have a low level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), as it could cause dangerous side effects. A low TSH level signals that thyroid hormone levels are already high, and adding Westhroid could cause them to increase to a dangerous level. Even if the TSH level is normal, frequent monitoring is required to make sure problems do not develop.
- It often takes Westhroid several weeks to start working. Try not to get frustrated if you are not feeling better more quickly. Never adjust your dosage without your healthcare provider's approval.
- Westhroid can potentially interact with many other medications (see Westhroid Drug Interactions).
- Westhroid is considered a pregnancy Category A medication. This means that it is safe for use during pregnancy (see Westhroid and Pregnancy).
- Westhroid does pass through breast milk in humans, but it is not likely to cause problems. However, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Westhroid and Breastfeeding).