In 1982 I began having problems with my Thyroid gland even though I wasn't aware of it. My gland was showing signs of hypothyroidism in the form of a lump which is called a goiter. My gland was under active and my Doctor believed that as I'd just had a child and due to my RH Negative factor, perhaps everything combined had thrown my Thyroid gland off kilter.
The thyroid gland maintains the body's ability to react to heat, cold and also how it metabolizes the body related to foods and brain functions. My metabolism had always been excessively high - as was my energy levels so when my Thyroid began having problems it was caught early on and I was fortunate not to experience any symptoms other than a small lump that I never even noticed but during a check up my Doctor did.
In my case my Doctor recommended surgery to remove the portion of my Thyroid that was causing problems and once this was completed I was placed on a maintenance dose of thyroid replacement hormones to ensure that the thyroid gland wouldn't pose further problems.
I have been on Eltroxin, Synthroid and now Levothyroxine. Of all of these it has been the Levothyroxine that has maintained my thyroid impeccably. The maintenance dose just after my operation was much higher than it has been now for the past dozen years or so and currently I'm on a low maintenance dose of just 0.125mg. This is a very tiny little tan color pill which I take every morning.
To be honest I've never had any symptoms of Thyroid problems, the Doctor caught it before I could begin to experience anything such as racing heart, sluggishness, tiredness, weight gain etc., and although I certainly wish I didn't have to take this little maintenance dose for the rest of my life - I do and to be honest, I'm thankful that this medication has worked flawlessly for me and posed absolutely no side-effects.
I have to have blood work regularly to ensure my Thyroid levels are in keeping with being healthy but this is a quick procedure that to date has always come back well balanced. Individuals with Diabetes must be monitored closely due to the fact Levothyroxine can result in the patient needing to increase or decrease their insulin when first on this medication. Also, it can increase the effect of Blood thinner medication, individuals on intravenous epinephrine could be more susceptible to heart attack if taking Levothyroxine as well. Overall, Levothyroxine is normally well tolerated by people but regular blood work is necessary and monitoring of patience who are pregnant or breast feeding is required - although there is no indications of problems with mothers using this drug during pregnancy or while nursing. Certain beta-blocking drugs could be reduced in their effectiveness because of Levothyroxine so any medications that are being taken in tandem with this medication should be monitored regularly by a Doctor to ensure all are working together optimally.
Changing from one type of thyroid medication to another (i.e. Synthroid to Levothyroxine eg) must also be monitored as manufacturers make this synthetic hormone differently and the strength of each does vary so blood work is imperative when medications have been substituted.
This medication is very inexpensive, covered by our Drug Plan it sets the plan back by a very minimal $8.79 a month including dispensing fee so it is definitely a medication that doesn't break the bank. Of all the Thyroid maintenance medication I've been on Levothyroxine is the only one that seems to have maintained my thyroid health without any fluctuations. I've not had any issues with this medication at all and am thankful that my current Doctor chose to place me on this one rather than on Synthroid.
In instances where side effects might occur it will usually be indicative of the patient ingesting toxic levels of Levothyroxine or of hyperthyroidism being present. Such effects are normally indicated by symptoms including fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, headache, insomnia, chest pains, sweating, heart palpitations, etc.
Overall, I'm pleased with this medication although I would prefer not having to be dependent upon it but to date it has kept my thyroid trouble free and me symptom free.