Synthroid is used for treating several conditions, including an underactive thyroid, goiters, and certain types of thyroid cancer. This prescription medication is a manufactured version of a naturally occurring thyroid hormone (levothyroxine, or T4). Synthroid works to boost the body's thyroid hormone levels. At this time, off-label Synthroid uses include treating depression in conjunction with other antidepressant medications.
Synthroid Uses: An OverviewSynthroid® (levothyroxine sodium) is a prescription medication that is a manufactured version of levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone. Synthroid is used to treat the following conditions:
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Goiters (including thyroid nodules)
- Certain types of thyroid cancer (when used with surgery or other treatments).
Synthroid Uses for HypothyroidismHypothyroidism (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. Synthroid works to boost the body's thyroid hormone levels, which can work wonders for the symptoms of hypothyroidism. However, do not expect results overnight; it often takes several weeks to notice any improvement.
It is important to understand that with Synthroid, 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 Synthroid.