Desiccated thyroid is used to replace thyroid hormone for people whose thyroid glands do not make sufficient amounts (hypothyroidism). Thyroid hormone is necessary for increasing the metabolic rate of body tissues.
Desiccated thyroid is used to treat hypothyroidism (low blood levels of thyroid hormone) and myxedema (the body's changes associated with prolonged low blood levels of thyroid hormone)
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
Your doctor will order blood tests to be done 4 to 6 weeks after starting desiccated thyroid to determine the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood. Based on the results of these tests, the doctor may increase your dose until the required response occurs.
Desiccated thyroid should be taken once daily at the same time each day (usually in the morning before breakfast).
Desiccated thyroid must be taken on a daily basis to be effective. This medication may take several weeks to have a noticeable effect on your condition. Replacement thyroid hormone therapy usually needs to be taken for life.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store the medication at room temperature and keep it out of reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- Abdominal cramps
- Heat intolerance
- Sleep difficulties
- Weight loss
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Feeling faint
- Mood swings
- Muscle weakness
- Restlessness (extreme)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- Chest pain
- Signs of heart attack (e.g., chest pain, or pressure or squeezing sensation in the chest; anxiety; paleness; shortness of breath; pain spreading to shoulders, neck, and jaw)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed.Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Desiccated thyroid should not be taken by anyone who:
- Has an allergy to thyroid or to any of the ingredients of the medication (there are currently no known cases of allergy to desiccated thyroid itself)
- Has certain uncorrected problems of the adrenal glands
- Has untreated thyrotoxicosis (too much thyroid hormone in the blood)
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between desiccated thyroid and any of the following:
- Antacids that contain aluminum or calcium
- Birth control pills
- Calcium polystyrene
- Calcium supplements (e.g., calcium carbonate, calcium citrate)
- Diabetes medications (e.g., insulin, glyburide, metformin)
- Diet pills