Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)

What is Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

Desiccated (dried) thyroid is a combination of hormones that are normally produced by your thyroid gland to regulate the body’s energy and metabolism. Desiccated thyroid is given when the thyroid does not produce enough of this hormone on its own.

Desiccated thyroid treats hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). Desiccated thyroid is also used to treat or prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), and is also given as part of a medical tests for thyroid disorders.

Desiccated thyroid should not be used to treat obesity or weight problems.

Desiccated thyroid may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take desiccated thyroid. You should not use this medication if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.

Before taking desiccated thyroid, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, angina (chest pain), coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, or problems with your adrenal glands.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. You may need to use this medication for the rest of your life.

Call your doctor if you notice any signs of thyroid toxicity, such as chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, feeling hot or nervous, or sweating more than usual.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take desiccated thyroid. You should not use this medication if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:

  • heart disease, angina (chest pain)
  • coronary artery disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • diabetes; or
  • problems with your adrenal gland

FDA pregnancy category A. Desiccated thyroid is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, tell your doctor if you become pregnant, since your dose needs may change.

Small amounts of desiccated thyroid can pass into breast milk, but this is not expected to harm a nursing baby. However, do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Westhroid Side Effects

What are the possible side effects of Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

Stop using desiccated thyroid and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Less serious side effects may include temporary hair loss (especially in children).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Westhroid Interactions

What other drugs affect Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

The following drugs can interact with desiccated thyroid. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:

  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin)
  • insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth
  • medications that contain iodine (such as I-131)
  • salicylates such as aspirin, Backache Relief Extra Strength, Novasal, Nuprin Backache Caplet, Doan’s Pills Extra Strength, Tricosal, and others; or
  • steroids such as prednisone and others

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with desiccated thyroid. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

What should I avoid while taking Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

If you also take cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran) or colestipol (Colestid), avoid taking these medications within 4 hours before or after you take desiccated thyroid.

Westhroid Dosage

How should I take Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. You may need to use this medication for the rest of your life.

Call your doctor if you notice any signs of thyroid toxicity, such as chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, feeling hot or nervous, or sweating more than usual.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using desiccated thyroid.

Store desiccated thyroid at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I overdose on Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, sweating, diarrhea, irregular menstrual periods, feeling restless or irritable, confusion, weakness, swelling in your hands or feet, fast heart rate, chest pain, feeling short of breath, or fainting.

What happens if I miss a dose of Westhroid (Thyroid Desiccated)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Edited from everydayhealth.com


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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