Tirosint Warnings and Precautions
Although it is considered an effective medication for many people, Tirosint can cause problems. For instance, using this medicine to lose weight when you do not have a thyroid problem can cause potentially life-threatening complications. Other warnings and precautions with Tirosint involve things like possible drug interactions and the potential risks of taking this medication if you have diabetes or any heart problems.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Tirosint® (levothyroxine sodium) if you have:
- An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- A recent history of a heart attack
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Any heart problems
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Specific Precautions and Warnings for TirosintSome warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
- People who do not have thyroid problems should never use Tirosint to lose weight. A Tirosint dosage high enough to cause weight loss in such people is often high enough to cause serious or even life-threatening side effects.
- Tirosint 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 Tirosint 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.
- Tirosint is a "narrow therapeutic index" medication. This means that for any given person, the range of Tirosint doses that are both safe and effective is small. Even tiny changes in doses can cause significant problems (either making Tirosint ineffective or causing serious side effects).
Your healthcare provider should carefully and slowly adjust your dose, and should monitor your progress often using blood tests. Even if you have been stable on Tirosint for years, your healthcare provider should still do these blood tests regularly.
- Tirosint may increase the risk for osteoporosis, particularly if your Tirosint dose is too high. This is one of the reasons why it is a good reason for your healthcare provider to prescribe a dose of Tirosint that is just enough to return your thyroid hormone levels to normal.
- The medication can make heart problems worse. If you have heart problems, your healthcare provider should start you at a low Tirosint dosage and slowly increase it. If you notice that Tirosint makes your heart symptoms worse, let your healthcare provider know right away.
- Sometimes, thyroid problems occur in conjunction with other health problems, such as anemia or diabetes. It is a good idea for your healthcare provider to give you a thorough physical exam when you are diagnosed with a thyroid problem.
- It often takes Tirosint several weeks to start working. Try not to get frustrated if you are not noticing an improvement right away.
- If you have diabetes, it is a good idea to check your blood sugar levels more often when starting or stopping Tirosint (or when changing your dose), as the medication can affect your blood sugar.
- Tirosint can potentially interact with many other medications (see Tirosint Drug Interactions).
- Tirosint is considered a pregnancy Category A medication. This means that it is safe for use during pregnancy (see Levothyroxine and Pregnancy).
- Tirosint does pass through breast milk in humans, although it is not likely to cause problems. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Levothyroxine and Breastfeeding).