What is this medication?
Thyroid Extract (Desiccated Thyroid), ERFA/Armour/Westhroid/WP
Indicated for treatment of hypothyroidism.
“ALERT: US Boxed Warning
Drugs with thyroid hormone activity, alone or with other therapeutic agents, have been used for the treatment of obesity. In euthyroid patients, doses within the range of daily hormonal requirements are ineffective for weight reduction. Larger doses may produce serious or even life-threatening manifestations of toxicity, particularly when given in association with sympathomimetic amines such as those used for their anorectic effects.”
How does this medication work?
Contains extracts of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) from generally porcine thyroid tissue. T4 is an endogenous hormone produced by the thyroid gland to regulate the body’s metabolism. T4 is converted to its active metabolite T3. Both T4 and T3 bind to thyroid receptors in the cell nucleus and regulate cellular metabolic rate through DNA transcription and protein synthesis. T4 and T3 are also involved in growth and development, promote gluconeogenesis, increase utilization and mobilization of glycogen stores and stimulates protein synthesis.
How should I take this medication?
Oral: Start with an initial dose of 30mg to 32.5mg daily; may increase the dose by 15mg to 16.25mg increments every 2 to 3 weeks until adequate replacement dosage is determined.
How to Take: Take in the morning on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes to 60 minutes before food to increase absorption. Take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor at the same time each day. If you miss a dose, make sure to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule.
You Need to Avoid: Do not take if you have a hypersensitivity to any component of the formulation; untreated thyrotoxicosis and an uncorrected adrenal insufficiency.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Use with caution in patients with adrenal insufficiency
Use with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease, chronic hypothyroidism, coronary artery disease
Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus and/or insipidus
Use with caution in patients with myxedema
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Any side effects/adverse reactions are due to excessive thyroid replacement
Cardiovascular: Angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac failure, flushing, increased blood pressure, increased pulse, myocardial infarction, palpitations, tachycardia
Central nervous system: Anxiety, emotional lability, fatigue, headache, heat intolerance, hyperactivity, insomnia, irritability, myasthenia, nervousness, pseudotumor cerebri (children)
Dermatologic: Alopecia, diaphoresis, skin rash
Endocrine & metabolic: Goiter (exophthalmic; IV), menstrual disease, weight loss
Gastrointestinal: Abdominal cramps, diarrhea, increased appetite, vomiting
Genitourinary: Reduced fertility
Hepatic: Increased liver enzymes
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Decreased bone mineral density, muscle spasm, slipped capital femoral epiphysis (children), tremor
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