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What is Levoxyl

Levothyroxine is a naturally occurring hormone produced by your thyroid. It is important for normal energy and metabolism.

For a variety of reasons, your body may not produce enough of this hormone on its own. In these cases, Levoxyl is taken to replace your body's natural thyroid hormone. Levoxyl is also used to prevent and treat goiter (growth or enlargement of the thyroid gland). Causes of goiter include hormonal imbalances, radiation, surgery, and cancer.

Levoxyl may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Levoxyl

Do not stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. You will probably need to take this medication for the rest of your life to replace the thyroid hormone that your body is not producing. Even if you feel well, you need to take this medicine every day.

Do not change brands of levothyroxine or change to a generic drug without first talking to your doctor.

Who should not take Levoxyl

Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in your body, almost anyone can take this drug. In general, Levoxyl should not be taken if you have other hormonal problems that are not being adequately treated.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have a heart disease such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, or angina. These conditions may be affected by thyroid therapy, and closer monitoring may be necessary at the start of therapy.

Changes in blood sugar may occur if you have diabetes, and special monitoring may be necessary.

Levoxyl is in the FDA pregnancy category A. This means that Levoxyl is safe for use during pregnancy. It is also safe to take thyroid hormones if you are breast-feeding a baby. This drug does pass into breast milk, but it will not harm a nursing infant.

How should take Levoxyl

Take this medication exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Take this medication at the same time each day whenever possible. Thyroid hormone is usually taken in the morning to prevent insomnia at night. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Do not stop taking this medication for any reason without talking to your doctor first. It may take several weeks for you to start feeling better. Once you start feeling all right, do not stop taking Levoxyl. You will probably need to take this medicine for the rest of your life.

Do not change brands of levothyroxine or change to a generic drug without first talking to your doctor.

Store Levoxyl at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical treatment.

Symptoms of a Levoxyl overdose include chest pain, nervousness, trouble sleeping, tremor, rapid heartbeat, nausea, headache, fever, sweating, shortness of breath, heat intolerance, irregular menses, increased appetite, decreased weight, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Avoid while taking Levoxyl

Do not stop taking this medication suddenly.

Do not change brands of levothyroxine or change to a generic drug without first talking to your doctor.

Possible side effects of Levoxyl

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Levoxyl and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- vomiting; or
- chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Levoxyl and talk to your doctor or try another similar medication if you experience
- tremor, nervousness, or irritability;
- headache;
- insomnia;
- diarrhea, changes in appetite, or weight loss;
- leg cramps;
- menstrual irregularities; or
- fever, sweating, or heat sensitivity.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Levoxyl

Other drugs may bind to Levoxyl and reduce the amount that is available in your body, making it less effective. Separate Levoxyl doses from the following medicines:
- antacids that contain aluminum;
- the prescription ulcer medicine sucralfate (Carafate);
- the cholesterol-lowering drugs cholestyramine (Questran) and colestipol (Colestid); and
- ferrous sulfate (a type of iron supplement).

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Levoxyl or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

All prescription drugs:

abilify accupril accutane acetaminophen aciphex actifed actonel actos acyclovir adalat adderall adipex advair advil albuterol alesse aleve allegra allopurinol amaryl ambien amiodarone amitriptyline amoxicillin amoxil amphetamine anacin aprazolam aricept asacol aspirin atenolol ativan atorvastatin atrovent augmentin avandia avapro avastin avelox azmacort
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darvocet demerol depakote desogen detrol dextromethorphan diazepam diclofenac didrex diflucan digoxin dilantin diltiazem dimetapp diovan diprivan ditropan doxazosin doxycycline drixoral duragesic dyazide
effexor elavil elocon eloxatin emend enalapril enbrel endocet engerix-b entex epogen epzicom erbitux ertaczo ery-tab erythromycin estradiol evista 
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gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
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