L-Thyroxine T4 Usage
Levothyroxine is typically used to treat hypothyroidism, and is the treatment of choice for people with hypothyroidism, who often require lifelong thyroid hormone therapy. It may also be used to treat goiter via its ability to lower thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a hormone that is considered goiter-inducing. Levothyroxine is also used as interventional therapy in people with nodular thyroid disease or thyroid cancer to suppress thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) secretion. A subset of people with hypothyroidism treated with an appropriate dose of levothyroxine will describe continuing symptoms despite TSH levels in the normal range. In these people, further laboratory and clinical evaluation is warranted as they may have another cause for their symptoms. Furthermore, it is important to review their medications and possible dietary supplements as several medications can affect thyroid hormone levels.
Levothyroxine is also used to treat subclinical hypothyroidism which is defined by an elevated TSH level and a normal-range free T4 level without symptoms. Such people may be asymptomatic and whether they should be treated is controversial. One benefit of treating this population with levothyroxine therapy is preventing development of hypothyroidism. As such, it is recommended that treatment should be taken into account for patients with initial TSH levels > 10 mIU/L, people with elevated thyroid peroxidase antibody titers, people with symptoms of hypothyroidism and TSH levels between 5-10 mIU/L, and women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant. Oral dosing for patients with subclinical hypothyroidism is 1 µg/kg/day.
It is also used to treat myxedema coma, which is a severe form of hypothyroidism characterized by mental status changes and hypothermia. As it is a medical emergency with a high mortality rate, it should be treated in the intensive care unit with thyroid hormone replacement and aggressive management of individual organ system complications.
L-Thyroxine T4 COA