Hypothyroidism is treated with a drug called levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone. This is an oral medication that is taken daily as prescribed by a doctor. It works by restoring the hormone levels and reversing the symptoms of hypothyroidism, as stated by Mayo Clinic.
Improvement may occur after one to two weeks of using the drug. Levothyroxine also reverses the high cholesterol levels that are increased due to the thyroid condition. Use of levothyroxine is expected to last a lifetime.
As needed, a doctor may change the dosage of a person from time to time, as stated by WebMD. The thyroid hormone levels of an individual may also be regularly checked before adjusting the dosage. The doctor will check the levels every two to three months to determine the right dosage.
Levothyroxine may react with other drugs, so it is sensible for a person to inform the doctor if he or she is using other medications. Taking excess amounts of this drug may lead to different side effects, including shakiness, insomnia, increased appetite and heart palpitations. Usually, the patient starts the medication with a low dose before it is increased by the doctor, as stated by Mayo Clinic.