Synthroid (Page 3 of 6)

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

Adverse reactions associated with SYNTHROID therapy are primarily those of hyperthyroidism due to therapeutic overdosage [see Warnings and Precautions (5) , Overdosage (10)]. They include the following:

  • General: fatigue, increased appetite, weight loss, heat intolerance, fever, excessive sweating
  • Central nervous system: headache, hyperactivity, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, emotional lability, insomnia
  • Musculoskeletal: tremors, muscle weakness, muscle spasm
  • Cardiovascular: palpitations, tachycardia, arrhythmias, increased pulse and blood pressure, heart failure, angina, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest
  • Respiratory: dyspnea
  • Gastrointestinal: diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevations in liver function tests
  • Dermatologic: hair loss, flushing, rash
  • Endocrine: decreased bone mineral density
  • Reproductive: menstrual irregularities, impaired fertility

Seizures have been reported rarely with the institution of levothyroxine therapy.

Adverse Reactions in Children

Pseudotumor cerebri and slipped capital femoral epiphysis have been reported in children receiving levothyroxine therapy. Overtreatment may result in craniosynostosis in infants and premature closure of the epiphyses in children with resultant compromised adult height.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Hypersensitivity reactions to inactive ingredients have occurred in patients treated with thyroid hormone products. These include urticaria, pruritus, skin rash, flushing, angioedema, various gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea), fever, arthralgia, serum sickness, and wheezing. Hypersensitivity to levothyroxine itself is not known to occur.

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

7.1 Drugs Known to Affect Thyroid Hormone Pharmacokinetics

Many drugs can exert effects on thyroid hormone pharmacokinetics and metabolism (e.g., absorption, synthesis, secretion, catabolism, protein binding, and target tissue response) and may alter the therapeutic response to SYNTHROID (see Tables 2-5 below).

Table 2. Drugs That May Decrease T4 Absorption (Hypothyroidism)
Potential impact: Concurrent use may reduce the efficacy of SYNTHROID by binding and delaying or preventing absorption, potentially resulting in hypothyroidism.
Drug or Drug Class Effect
Calcium Carbonate Ferrous Sulfate Calcium carbonate may form an insoluble chelate with levothyroxine, and ferrous sulfate likely forms a ferric-thyroxine complex. Administer SYNTHROID at least 4 hours apart from these agents.
Orlistat Monitor patients treated concomitantly with orlistat and SYNTHROID for changes in thyroid function.
Bile Acid Sequestrants- Colesevelam- Cholestyramine- ColestipolIon Exchange Resins- Kayexalate- Sevelamer Bile acid sequestrants and ion exchange resins are known to decrease levothyroxine absorption. Administer SYNTHROID at least 4 hours prior to these drugs or monitor TSH levels.
Other drugs:Proton Pump InhibitorsSucralfateAntacids- Aluminum & Magnesium Hydroxides- Simethicone Gastric acidity is an essential requirement for adequate absorption of levothyroxine. Sucralfate, antacids and proton pump inhibitors may cause hypochlorhydria, affect intragastric pH, and reduce levothyroxine absorption. Monitor patients appropriately.
Table 3. Drugs That May Alter T4 and Triiodothyronine (T3) Serum Transport Without Affecting Free Thyroxine (FT4) Concentration (Euthyroidism)
Drug or Drug Class Effect
ClofibrateEstrogen-containing oral contraceptivesEstrogens (oral)Heroin / Methadone5-FluorouracilMitotaneTamoxifen These drugs may increase serum thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) concentration.
Androgens / Anabolic SteroidsAsparaginaseGlucocorticoidsSlow-Release Nicotinic Acid These drugs may decrease serum TBG concentration.
Potential impact (below): Administration of these agents with SYNTHROID results in an initial transient increase in FT4. Continued administration results in a decrease in serum T4 and normal FT4 and TSH concentrations.
Salicylates (> 2 g/day) Salicylates inhibit binding of T4 and T3 to TBG and transthyretin. An initial increase in serum FT4 is followed by return of FT4 to normal levels with sustained therapeutic serum salicylate concentrations, although total T4 levels may decrease by as much as 30%.
Other drugs:CarbamazepineFurosemide (> 80 mg IV)Heparin HydantoinsNon-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs- Fenamates These drugs may cause protein-binding site displacement. Furosemide has been shown to inhibit the protein binding of T4 to TBG and albumin, causing an increase free T4 fraction in serum. Furosemide competes for T4-binding sites on TBG, prealbumin, and albumin, so that a single high dose can acutely lower the total T4 level. Phenytoin and carbamazepine reduce serum protein binding of levothyroxine, and total and free T4 may be reduced by 20% to 40%, but most patients have normal serum TSH levels and are clinically euthyroid. Closely monitor thyroid hormone parameters.
Table 4. Drugs That May Alter Hepatic Metabolism of T4 (Hypothyroidism)
Potential impact: Stimulation of hepatic microsomal drug-metabolizing enzyme activity may cause increased hepatic degradation of levothyroxine, resulting in increased SYNTHROID requirements.
Drug or Drug Class Effect
PhenobarbitalRifampin Phenobarbital has been shown to reduce the response to thyroxine. Phenobarbital increases L-thyroxine metabolism by inducing uridine 5’-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) and leads to a lower T4 serum levels. Changes in thyroid status may occur if barbiturates are added or withdrawn from patients being treated for hypothyroidism. Rifampin has been shown to accelerate the metabolism of levothyroxine.
Table 5. Drugs That May Decrease Conversion of T4 to T3
Potential impact: Administration of these enzyme inhibitors decreases the peripheral conversion of T4 to T3, leading to decreased T3 levels. However, serum T4 levels are usually normal but may occasionally be slightly increased.
Drug or Drug Class Effect
Beta-adrenergic antagonists(e.g., Propranolol > 160 mg/day) In patients treated with large doses of propranolol (> 160 mg/day), T3 and T4 levels change, TSH levels remain normal, and patients are clinically euthyroid. Actions of particular beta-adrenergic antagonists may be impaired when a hypothyroid patient is converted to the euthyroid state.
Glucocorticoids(e.g., Dexamethasone > 4 mg/day) Short-term administration of large doses of glucocorticoids may decrease serum T3 concentrations by 30% with minimal change in serum T4 levels. However, long-term glucocorticoid therapy may result in slightly decreased T3 and T4 levels due to decreased TBG production (See above).
Other drugs:Amiodarone Amiodarone inhibits peripheral conversion of levothyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) and may cause isolated biochemical changes (increase in serum free-T4, and decreased or normal free-T3) in clinically euthyroid patients.

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