Daily Health Headlines

Thyroid Replacement Hormones

👤by AP 0 comments 🕔Friday, May 30th, 2014

Thyroid replacement hormones are medications used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition in which the production of thyroid hormone in the body is abnormally low. Thyroid hormones increase cellular metabolism (activity of cells) that is responsible for growth, development of tissues, maintenance of brain function, body temperature regulation and several other cellular processes. Low levels of thyroid hormones in the body can result in many problems given the numerous activities that they mediate. The thyroid gland, a gland found in the lower neck is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones. It produces two main hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The hormone responsible for most of the biological effects in the body is T3. When T4 is released into the blood by the thyroid gland, most of it is converted to T3 which is responsible for the cellular metabolic processes. Commercially available thyroid hormones are either natural or synthetic (man-made). Desiccated thyroid or thyroid extract (Armor Thyroid, Nature-Throid), a natural thyroid hormone is derived from beef or pork. Levothyroxine sodium (for example, Synthroid, Levoxyl and Levothroid), is the synthetic version of thyroxine (T4), liothyronine sodium (Cytomel, Triostat), is the synthetic version of tT3 and liotrix (Thyrolar) is a synthetic thyroid hormone containing a mixture of T4and T3.

What are some examples of thyroid replacement hormones?

The following is a list of the thyroid replacement hormones that are available in the United States:

thyroid extract (Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid, NP Thyroid, Westhroid, Westhroid-P [DSC], WP Thyroid) levothyroxine sodium (Levothroid [DSC], Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid, Unithroid Direct) liothyronine sodium (Cytomel, Triostat) liotrix (Thyrolar) For what conditions are thyroid replacement hormones used?

Thyroid replacement hormones are used to treat hypothyroidism (low production of thyroid hormone) and myxedema, a condition that is caused by prolonged hypothyroidism. Thyroid replacement hormones prevent thyroid hormone release from cancerous thyroid nodules and are used therefore to treat thyroid cancers. They also are used to manage thyrotoxicosis, a condition in which there are high levels of thyroid hormones resulting from over-active thyroid glands and too much thyroid hormone. Thyrotoxicosis may progress to hypothyroidism or cause the growth of goiters necessitating the use of thyroid replacement hormones.

Are there any differences among the different types of thyroid replacement hormones?

There is conflicting evidence regarding which hormone replacement therapy should be preferred. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends that clinical hypothyroidism is best treated with synthetic T4 levothyroxine (for example levothyroxine and sodium [Synthroid, Levoxyl and Levothroid]). There is variability between the absorption and distribution of generic T4 compared to brand name preparations. Hence it is recommended that patients remain with specific brand names during treatment. There is also variability between generic formulations and brand names of pure T3 (liothyronine [Cytomel, Triostat]), combined T4/T3 formulations (liotrix [Thyrolar]) and thyroid extracts from animal sources (Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid etc.). Emerging information shows that combination of T4/T3 therapy may have some advantages over T4 in cognitive performance and mood but studies are not conclusive.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/30/2014

thyroid replacement-oral Index

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Need help identifying pills and medications?Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Back to Medications Index

Pharmacy Author:

Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

Dr. Eni Williams graduated from Creighton University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Howard University in 1994. She also obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy in 2009 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Jay W. Marks, MD

Jay W. Marks, MD

Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Article Credits / Source

AP / MedicineNet.com

AP wrote this story for MedicineNet.com. MedicineNet.com provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from MedicineNet.com.

View More Articles From AP 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Thyroid Articles

Thyroid Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ

Thyroid Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ0

The correct answer is: C In the neck Explanation: The thyroid gland is located below the Adam's apple in the lower part of the neck and wraps around the windpipe (trachea). The thyroid gland has the ...

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis0

Hypothyroidism Symptoms Hypothyroidism is most commonly a result of an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism in adults are: Tiredness and weakness; feeling "run down" Weight gain or ...

Can You Blame Your Headaches on Your Thyroid?

Can You Blame Your Headaches on Your Thyroid?0

THURSDAY, Sept. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- People with migraines and other headache disorders have a greater risk of a thyroid disease known as hypothyroidism, a new study suggests. Hypothyroidism occurs when the body doesn't produce ...

Thyroid Scan

Thyroid Scan0

What is the thyroid gland? The thyroid is a gland that makes and stores essential hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate of chemical reactions (metabolism) in the body. It is ...

Thyroid Blood Tests

Thyroid Blood Tests0

Introduction The thyroid gland produces hormones that are essential for normal body metabolism. Blood testing is now commonly available to determine the adequacy of the levels of thyroid hormones. These blood tests can define ...

View More Thyroid Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!