Levothyroxine

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

Levothroid [DSC]; Levoxyl; Synthroid; Tirosint; Unithroid; Unithroid Direct

Brand Names: Canada

Eltroxin; Levothyroxine Sodium; Levothyroxine Sodium for Injection; Synthroid

Warning

  • Do not use this drug to treat obesity or for weight loss. Very bad and sometimes deadly side effects may happen with this drug if it is taken in large doses or with other drugs for weight loss. Talk with the doctor.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to add thyroid hormone to the body.
  • It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

All products:

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child has any of these health problems: Overactive thyroid gland, recent heart attack, or weak adrenal gland.

Capsule:

  • If your child has trouble swallowing.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of their drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
  • Do not run out of this drug.
  • It may take several weeks to see the full effects.
  • If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch his/her blood sugar closely.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • This drug may cause weak bones (osteoporosis) with long-term use. Talk with the doctor to see if your child has a higher chance of weak bones, or if you have any questions.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Feeling more or less hungry.
  • A big weight gain or loss.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Belly cramps.
  • Throwing up.
  • Grouchy or touchy.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Shakiness.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Seizures.
  • Bothered by heat.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Fever.
  • Leg cramps.
  • Muscle weakness.

If your child has menstrual periods:

  • Period (menstrual) changes. These include spotting between cycles or very light periods.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Hair loss may happen in some people in the first few months of using this drug. This most often goes back to normal.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Follow how to give this drug as you have been told by your child’s doctor. Do not give more than you were told to give.
  • Give as you have been told, even if your child feels well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.

Tablets and capsules:

  • There is more than 1 brand of this drug. One brand cannot safely be used for the other. The doctor will tell you about any needed change.
  • Give on an empty stomach 30 minutes before breakfast.
  • Do not give your child iron products, aluminum- and magnesium-containing antacids, calcium carbonate, simethicone, sucralfate, Kayexalate colestipol, or cholestyramine within 4 hours of this medicine.
  • Some foods like soybean flour (infant formula) may change how this drug works in your body. Talk with your doctor.

Capsule:

  • Have your child swallow whole. Do not let your child chew, break, or crush.

Tablet:

  • Some products may cause choking, gagging, or trouble swallowing. These products must be given with a full glass of water. Ask the pharmacist if your child needs to take this product with a full glass of water.
  • If your child cannot swallow pills, the tablet may be crushed and mixed in 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) of water right before giving to your child.

Shot:

  • It is given as a shot into a vein.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

Tablets and capsules:

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

Shot:

  • Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Tablets and capsules:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Shot:

  • This drug will be given to your child in a hospital or doctor’s office. You will not store it at home.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2015-03-18

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.

If you have any questions or concerns, talk with a member of your healthcare team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at ____________________. After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, please call____________________. If there’s no number listed, or you’re not sure, call 212-639-2000.

Levothyroxine
Printed on May 6, 2015, 2:37 pm [P-6457]