What Are the Side Effects of Thyroid Treatment?


Quick Answer

Side effects from thyroid treatment may include elevated heart or pulse rate, chest pain, excessive perspiration, headache, fever and weight loss, according to MedicineNet. Additionally, patients may experience bouts of restlessness, tremors and insomnia. Women may notice irregularity in menstrual cycles.

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Full Answer

Thyroid replacement hormones, such as thyroid extract, levothyroxine sodium, liothyronine sodium, Westhroid-P and liotrix, are used to treat patients with hypothyroidism, an irregularly low level of natural thyroid production, states MedicineNet. As of 2015, there is conflicting medical evidence as to which hormone replacements are preferred for treatment.

Although thyroid hormone treatment is generally well tolerated, in some cases the increased levels of thyroid hormones may cause hyperthyroidism, a toxic condition that can be treated with medication or surgery, reports MedicineNet. In those with milder cases of hyperthyroidism and in elderly patients over the age of 70, it's often more difficult to detect symptoms. A thyroid storm is known to occur in the most severe cases, which may lead to heart failure or delirium.

Excessive hormone intake is common in patients who don't follow up with their physicians to ensure proper monitoring of hormone levels, or with patients who may be intentionally increasing the dosage to initiate weight loss, according to MedicineNet. Thyroid scans help to detect when dosages need to be modified. Additionally, those who suffer from diabetes or coronary artery disease should exert extra caution during thyroid treatment. The increased hormones may create negative interactions with other medications, such as insulin, blood thinners and beta blockers.

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