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Although thyroid hormone substitutes, including Synthroid, are among the most widely used drugs in clinical practice, doctors and patients still have many questions about its use. Let us try to debunk several common Synthroid therapy myths and reveal some facts. Actually, only a complete understanding of the processes allows use the medicine to treat diseases of the thyroid gland and for other purposes.

Key facts about Synthroid therapy: Basic knowledge

A hormonal drug Synthroid, according to statistics, goes in the top ten of all prescription medications. In most cases, doctors prescribe this medicine for hormone replacement therapy in patients with hypothyroidism. As a rule, such patients should take the pills throughout their lives. Of course, many people use it for other purposes, too.

Doctors recommend taking the medicine on an empty stomach. Thus, its bioavailability increases. At the same time, the half-life of the drug is six to seven days, which allows to take it once a day. Please mind that, with thyrotoxicosis, the half-life reduces to three to four days. With hypothyroidism, on the contrary, it increases to nine to ten days.

Synthroid therapy myths and facts

Among the important issues debunking Synthroid therapy myths is the fact that the intake of certain medciations and supplements affects the effectiveness of its absorption. In particular, this concerns iron, calcium and aluminum preparations. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot take them together! Just use Synthroid either 4 hours before taking other drugs, or 4 hours after.

Start with a small dose and gradually increase it: Truth or myth?

According to this approach, you should start replacement therapy with small dose of the drug, and then gradually increase it. A myth! The dosage depends on body weight, age and the presence of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, starting with a full dose, calculated taking into account all the factors, seems more effective and safe. Such a low-dose start of replacement therapy might be needed only in elderly patients with cardiovascular pathology. This is a key fact debunking many Synthroid therapy myths.

Dosage adjustment according to season: Synthroid therapy myths or facts?

Another myth is the need to reduce the dose of the medication in the warm season, and increase it in the cold one. Proponents of this method insist that patients taking these pills do not tolerate heat in summer, but feel better in winter increasing the dose of the drug. Just remember that no modern guide to endocrinology contains such recommendations.

Hormone therapy leads to dangerous side effects: True or false?

Since Synthroid is an exact analogue of endogenous hormone, many fear the side effects of hormone therapy. However, in fact, negative consequences during treatment appear only with the wrong dosage of the medication. In particular, an overdose can provoke drug thyrotoxicosis and related complications. With an insufficient dose of the drug, hypothyroidism and related adverse events persist.

Author - Antonio C. Bianco, MD, PhD.