What are Common Thyroid Medication Dosages
There are two goals of thyroid medication:
1. Replacement therapy is used to return the gland to the biochemical equivalent of an euthyroid (normal) state.
2. Suppression is used to inhibit the growth and function of abnormal thyroid tissue.
The type of drug therapy prescribed will dictate the management plan for your thyroid condition. All medication dosages are based on:
- test results
- body weight
Adjustments for individual patients are made as needed.
The Preferred Method
Synthroid and Levothyroxine are able to achieve both goals depending on the dosage and physical condition of the patient. The chosen drug is normally prescribed as a once daily thyroid medication.
There are specific timing instructions to make sure the drug is absorbed correctly and to avoid drug interactions with known absorption inhibitors. it should be taken at least 30 to 60 minutes before breakfast, wait 4 hours to take any additional drugs or supplements that affect the absorbency rate.
The effects of the drug may be felt as soon as two weeks after your treatment begins, but it will take a full 4 to 6 weeks to actually build up a reserve in your system.
Specialists use particular caution when prescribing thyroid medication dosages. They have to account for:
- cardiovascular status
- other medical conditions
- pre-existing drug therapies
- the nature of the thyroid condition being treated
Certain medicines will not be used on patients with a cardiovascular condition, adrenal insufficiency, or patients of an advanced age.
A “Range” of Options
The starting doses of thyroid medication depend on the overall direction of the course of treatment.
For instance, if you are diagnosed with a thyroid condition and you are under age 50, you are more likely to be put on a full replacement dose right out of the gate. That’s 100 to 125 mcg per day. Older adults of 50+ are put on low-dose drug therapy that is increased by increments of 25 mcg over a period of months.
These are the normal parameters that limit the dosage used:
- elderly patients often require a dosage of about 1mcg per day
- children and infants require immediate treatment to avoid cognitive and developmental problems
- a dose greater the 200 mcg is rarely administered
- a dose greater than 300 mcg suggest a problem with compliance or absorption
Emergency cases require hospitalization where high-doses of drugs and steroids can be administered by I.V. to treat a critical case.
All medication effectiveness will be monitored using tests and TSH levels. If the levels are in normal range, no medication adjustment is needed. Multiple testing is required.
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