Addition of Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets therapy in patients with diabetes mellitus may worsen glycemic control and result in increased antidiabetic agent or insulin requirements. Carefully monitor glycemic control, especially when thyroid therapy is started, changed, or discontinued [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets increase the response to oral anticoagulant therapy. Therefore, a decrease in the dose of anticoagulant may be warranted with correction of the hypothyroid state or when the Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets dose is increased. Closely monitor coagulation tests to permit appropriate and timely dosage adjustments.
Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets may reduce the therapeutic effects of digitalis glycosides. Serum digitalis glycoside levels may decrease when a hypothyroid patient becomes euthyroid, necessitating an increase in the dose of digitalis glycosides.
Concurrent use of tricyclic (e.g., amitriptyline) or tetracyclic (e.g., maprotiline) antidepressants and Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets may increase the therapeutic and toxic effects of both drugs, possibly due to increased receptor sensitivity to catecholamines. Toxic effects may include increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias and central nervous system stimulation. Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets may accelerate the onset of action of tricyclics. Administration of sertraline in patients stabilized on Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets may result in increased Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets requirements.
Concurrent use of ketamine and Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets may produce marked hypertension and tachycardia. Closely monitor blood pressure and heart rate in these patients.
Concurrent use of sympathomimetics and Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets may increase the effects of sympathomimetics or thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones may increase the risk of coronary insufficiency when sympathomimetic agents are administered to patients with coronary artery disease.
Concurrent use of tyrosine-kinase inhibitors such as imatinib may cause hypothyroidism. Closely monitor TSH levels in such patients.
Consumption of certain foods may affect Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets absorption thereby necessitating adjustments in dosing [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)]. Soybean flour, cottonseed meal, walnuts, and dietary fiber may bind and decrease the absorption of Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets from the gastrointestinal tract. Grapefruit juice may delay the absorption of levothyroxine and reduce its bioavailability.
Consider changes in TBG concentration when interpreting T4 and T3 values. Measure and evaluate unbound (free) hormone and/or determine the free-T4 index (FT4I) in this circumstance. Pregnancy, infectious hepatitis, estrogens, estrogen-containing oral contraceptives, and acute intermittent porphyria increase TBG concentration. Nephrosis, severe hypoproteinemia, severe liver disease, acromegaly, androgens, and corticosteroids decrease TBG concentration. Familial hyper- or hypo-thyroxine binding globulinemias have been described, with the incidence of TBG deficiency approximating 1 in 9000.
Experience with levothyroxine use in pregnant women, including data from post-marketing studies, have not reported increased rates of major birth defects or miscarriages [see Data]. There are risks to the mother and fetus associated with untreated hypothyroidism in pregnancy. Since TSH levels may increase during pregnancy, TSH should be monitored and Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets dosage adjusted during pregnancy [see Clinical Considerations]. There are no animal studies conducted with levothyroxine during pregnancy. Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets should not be discontinued during pregnancy and hypothyroidism diagnosed during pregnancy should be promptly treated.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.
Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryo/Fetal Risk
Maternal hypothyroidism during pregnancy is associated with a higher rate of complications, including spontaneous abortion, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, stillbirth, and premature delivery. Untreated maternal hypothyroidism may have an adverse effect on fetal neurocognitive development.
Dose Adjustments During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period
Pregnancy may increase Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets requirements. Serum TSH levels should be monitored and the Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets dosage adjusted during pregnancy. Since postpartum TSH levels are similar to preconception values, the Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets dosage should return to the pre-pregnancy dose immediately after delivery [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)].
Levothyroxine is approved for use as a replacement therapy for hypothyroidism. There is a long experience of levothyroxine use in pregnant women, including data from post-marketing studies that have not reported increased rates of fetal malformations, miscarriages or other adverse maternal or fetal outcomes associated with levothyroxine use in pregnant women.
Limited published studies report that levothyroxine is present in human milk. However, there is insufficient information to determine the effects of levothyroxine on the breastfed infant and no available information on the effects of levothyroxine on milk production. Adequate levothyroxine treatment during lactation may normalize milk production in hypothyroid lactating mothers. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets or from the underlying maternal condition.
The initial dose of Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets varies with age and body weight. Dosing adjustments are based on an assessment of the individual patient’s clinical and laboratory parameters [see Dosage and Administration (2.3 , 2.4)].
In children in whom a diagnosis of permanent hypothyroidism has not been established, discontinue Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets administration for a trial period, but only after the child is at least 3 years of age. Obtain serum T4 and TSH levels at the end of the trial period, and use laboratory test results and clinical assessment to guide diagnosis and treatment, if warranted.
Rapid restoration of normal serum T4 concentrations is essential for preventing the adverse effects of congenital hypothyroidism on intellectual development as well as on overall physical growth and maturation. Therefore, initiate Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets therapy immediately upon diagnosis. Levothyroxine is generally continued for life in these patients.
Closely monitor infants during the first 2 weeks of Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets therapy for cardiac overload, arrhythmias, and aspiration from avid suckling.
Closely monitor patients to avoid undertreatment or overtreatment. Undertreatment may have deleterious effects on intellectual development and linear growth. Overtreatment is associated with craniosynostosis in infants, may adversely affect the tempo of brain maturation, and may accelerate the bone age and result in premature epiphyseal closure and compromised adult stature.
Acquired Hypothyroidism in Pediatric Patients
Closely monitor patients to avoid undertreatment and overtreatment. Undertreatment may result in poor school performance due to impaired concentration and slowed mentation and in reduced adult height. Overtreatment may accelerate the bone age and result in premature epiphyseal closure and compromised adult stature.
Treated children may manifest a period of catch-up growth, which may be adequate in some cases to normalize adult height. In children with severe or prolonged hypothyroidism, catch-up growth may not be adequate to normalize adult height.
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