Q:

What happens if I stop taking Synthroid?

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Quick Answer

According to About.com, stopping Synthroid medication presents a number of potential risks, including blood pressure irregularities, elevated cholesterol, fatigue, depression, hair loss, weight gain, infertility, joint pain, muscle pain, constipation, menstrual irregularities, loss or reduction of sex drive, sensitivity to cold, reduced heart beat, increased risk of heart disease, myxedema coma, and in extreme circumstances, death. Synthroid is a thyroid replacement medication used to treat patients with hypothyroidism.

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Full Answer

WebMD states that Synthroid, or levothyroxine, is an oral medication used to replace or provide more of the thyroid hormone that is normally produced by the thyroid gland in healthy individuals. Patients with an underactive thyroid gland, commonly known as hypothyroidism, do not produce enough thyroid hormone and, as a result, face health issues. A proper amount of thyroid hormone is needed to maintain proper physical and mental health.

When Synthroid medication is stopped, thyroid hormone levels of hypothyroid patients return to their pre-medicated state. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary greatly depending on the severity of the hypothyroidism. The more under-active a person's thyroid gland is, the worse the symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, when hypothyroidism is left untreated, the symptoms often gradually worsen over time. In addition to the symptoms listed above, an untreated hypothyroid disorder can cause constant thryoid stimulation that results in a goiter. Advanced hypothyroidism, called myxedema, is a life-threatening disorder that sometimes results in a coma or death.

To maintain health, it is important for patients with hypothyroidism to take their Synthroid medication as prescribed. As of 2014, Synthroid rarely costs more than $30 per month, and a month's supply of generic Synthroid costs as little as $4 per month.

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