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Side Effects of Taking Levothyroxine

Levothyroxine is the generic name of a drug prescribed in the treatment of hypothyroidism, goiters and thyroid cancer. It is sold under such brand names as Unithroid, Levothroid, Synthroid and Levoxyl. Hypothyroidism sufferers have a condition in which a gland called the thyroid fails to produce the correct amount of the thyroid hormone. Levothyroxine is administered as a pill.

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects produced by levothyroxine may need medical treatment, so call your doctor immediately if you get any of them 2. Less common serious side effects, states the Mayo Clinic, may include:

  • diplopia or double vision
  • a retardation of child growth
  • appetite changes
  • irritability
  • discomfort or pain in the chest
  • breathing that is irregular
  • bone mineral density decreases
  • joint inflammation
  • lowered output of urine
  • pulse increases
  • diarrhea
  • welts or hives

Others may include

  • breathing problems
  • nausea
  • bodily motion problems
  • stiffness or pain in the muscles
  • swallowing difficulties
  • abnormal liver function
  • dilated neck veins
  • menstrual cycle changes
  • eye pain
  • extreme fatigue
  • swollen patches on the genitals
  • face
  • feet
  • eyelids
  • legs
  • in the throat
  • on the tongue or hands or on the face

Rarely, some people taking levothyroxine have had seizures.

Temporary Side Effects

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Levothyroxine can induce some side effects at the beginning of treatment that will go away as you acclimate to it 2. These are categorized as less common temporary side effects and include:

  • abnormal weakness or tiredness
  • abdomen cramps
  • insomnia
  • crying
  • depersonalization
  • dysphoria
  • changing emotional moods
  • euphoria
  • fertility problems
  • excessive sweating
  • restlessness
  • fear
  • paranoia
  • hair loss

Others include

  • skin redness
  • sensation of bodily warmth
  • headaches
  • appetite increases
  • depression
  • nervousness
  • muscle weakness

If any of these persist call your physician.

Overdose Side Effects

Go to the nearest emergency room if you take more than the prescribed dose of levothyroxine.