What is Cytomel?Cytomel is used to treat hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), to prevent and treat goiter (growth or enlargement of the thyroid gland), and may also be used as a diagnostic agent in laboratory tests to evaluate your thyroid function.
Cytomel is a synthetic form of a naturally occurring hormone produced by the thyroid. It is important for normal energy and metabolism. For a variety of reasons, the body may not produce enough of this hormone on its own. In these cases, Cytomel is taken to replace the body's natural thyroid hormone.
What is the most important information I should know about Cytomel?Cytomel, either alone or with other medicines, should not be used to treat obesity or weight loss. Large doses may cause serious life-threatening situations, particularly when used with other medicines that reduce the appetite.
Replacement therapy is to be essentially taken for life, with a few exceptions.
You should immediately tell your doctor if you experience any signs and symptoms of thyroid hormone poisoning, such as chest pain, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, increased pulse rate, nervousness, palpitations, or any other unusual event.
If you are taking blood thinners when you start taking Cytomel, lab tests will be required to determine if the dose of the blood thinner should be adjusted.
Cytomel may affect your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. If it does, your doctor may adjust the dose of your diabetes medicine. If Cytomel is stopped, your doctor may also adjust the dose of your diabetes medicine to avoid low blood sugar levels.
Children may experience a partial loss of hair during the first few months of taking Cytomel. This effect is temporary.
Who should not take Cytomel?If you have been diagnosed with adrenal cortical insufficiency (a condition in which there is low steroid production from the adrenal gland) or thyrotoxicosis (a condition resulting from excessive thyroid hormone), your doctor will need to treat these conditions before starting treatment with Cytomel.
You should not take Cytomel if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Cytomel?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Cytomel. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, history of overactive thyroid, diabetes, kidney problems, problems with the ovaries or testes, underactive adrenal gland, or underactive pituitary gland. Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to thyroid hormones.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 25 micrograms (mcg) daily. Daily doses can be increased by up to 25 mcg every 1 or 2 weeks. The usual maintenance dose is 25-75 mcg daily.
Myxedema (Extremely Low Thyroid Hormone Level)
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 5 mcg daily, increased by 5-10 mcg daily every 1 or 2 weeks. When the dose reaches 25 mcg, it can be increased by 5-25 mcg every 1 or 2 weeks until a satisfactory response is attained. The usual maintenance dose is 50-100 mcg daily.
Congenital Hypothyroidism (Born with Hypothyroidism)
The recommended starting dose is 5 mcg daily, with 5 mcg increases every 3-4 days until the desired response is attained.
Infants: The usual dose is 20 mcg daily.
Children 1 year: The usual dose is 50 mcg daily.
Children >3 years: Adult doses may be necessary.
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 5 mcg daily, increased by 5-10 mcg daily every 1-2 weeks. When the dose reaches 25 mcg, it can be increased by 12.5-25 mcg every 1-2 weeks. The usual maintenance dose is 75 mcg daily.
Elderly, Children, and Patients with Coronary Artery Disease: The initial dose is 5 mcg daily. The dose should be increased by no more than 5 mcg at the recommended intervals.
Thyroid Suppression Therapy
Adults: The usual dose is 75-100 mcg daily for 7 days.
How should I take Cytomel?Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on individual response and lab tests.
Cytomel should be taken once a day by mouth.
What should I avoid while taking Cytomel?Your doctor may instruct you to avoid certain foods or drugs that might affect medical tests used to check your thyroid.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Cytomel?If Cytomel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Cytomel with the following: amphetamines, antidiabetic drugs, appetite suppressants, blood thinners, cholestyramine, cold/sinus/allergy medicine (including nose drops or sprays), digitalis, epinephrine, estrogen, insulin, ketamine, norepinephrine, oral contraceptives, and tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline).
What are the possible side effects of Cytomel?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: rare allergic skin reactions (rash, hives)
Can I receive Cytomel if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Use of proper amounts of thyroid hormone during pregnancy has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems. Cytomel should not be discontinued during pregnancy. However, you should discuss the use of Cytomel during pregnancy with your doctor. Minimal amounts of thyroid hormones are excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when thyroid is administered to a nursing woman. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Cytomel?If you miss a dose of Cytomel, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Cytomel?Store at room temperature.
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