Did you know that around 5% of the general population is diagnosed with hypothyroidism?
The disorder affects the thyroid gland and occurs when the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. This results in various bodily functions slowing down, such as metabolism, bowel movements, brain functions, energy levels, etc.
When this happens, medical professionals prescribe thyroid drugs (thyroid hormones) to supplement low thyroid levels.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some common thyroid medicines and the side effects they can cause. Additionally, we’ll describe some methods to get assistance to fill prescriptions for these medicines.
Keep reading to find out more.
What Drugs Are Prescribed for Hypothyroidism?
The thyroid gland produces two hormones known as T3 and T4. However, the latter is commonly prescribed to individuals as it can turn into T3 once absorbed into the body. These hormone-replacement medications are either natural (derived from animals) or synthetic (manufactured in a lab).
A medical professional is more likely to prescribe levothyroxine (Synthroid) to supplement low thyroid levels. It is a synthetic thyroxine, identical to the T4 hormone. Levothyroxine is considered a mainstay treatment for the disorder and is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.
Today, we’ll discuss some of the most common side effects of thyroid medicines.
Intolerance to Heat
Thyroid hormones play a crucial role when it comes to regulating and maintaining body temperature. When someone with hypothyroidism takes thyroid medicines, such as levothyroxine, their core body temperature rises. This can make them more sensitive to hotter temperatures.
Individuals who take thyroid medicines are likely to experience irregular heartbeats and palpitations. If this occurs, it’s best to drink lots of water and avoid tobacco and alcohol usage. It’s also a good idea to limit your consumption of caffeine.
Though this is a common side-effect, it’s vital you contact a medical professional if your symptoms are severe.
It’s not out of the ordinary to experience symptoms of diarrhea when taking thyroid medicines. That’s because the increased thyroid hormone can boost the body’s digestive function and lead to faster movement in the small intestine.
If this occurs, we recommend avoiding fatty foods to manage the symptoms. It’s also a good idea to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
Effects on Metabolism
When you take thyroid medicines, it changes how much energy the body utilizes. This means that it also impacts metabolism, which can lead to weight changes. Higher thyroid hormone levels could result in weight loss with time. However, it’s important to note that there is no evidence that levothyroxine causes the body to lose more than just water weight.
Many underinsured Americans find affording medicines difficult. This can turn them away from getting the help they need. If it’s the same case for you, we offer assistance for prescriptions.
At Advocate My Meds, we offer various full-service prescription assistance programs, including Synthroid prescription assistance for hypothyroidism. Enroll in our programs today to gain access to this and other 1,500 FDA-approved drugs. Contact us now to learn more about our patient assistance programs such as GSK prescription assistance or Abbvie prescription assistance.