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Side Effects of Thyroxine Sodium

by
author image Jessica Benzaquen
Since 2009 Jessica Benzaquen has published research articles and abstracts in “Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior” and “The Society for Neuroscience Meeting Planner.” After receiving her Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology at the University of Guelph, she earned her Master of Science degree in neuroscience at the University of Western Ontario while investigating possible environmental triggers for autism.
Side Effects of Thyroxine Sodium
Thyroxine sodium treats hypothyroidism. Photo Credit tablet tablets medicine image by Pali A from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Medications that treat hypothyroidism contain thyroxine sodium, or L-thyroxine, as their active ingredient. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland cannot produce enough hormone. Thyroxine sodium replaces one of the hormones the thyroid does not produce in adequate amounts. Medications such as Synthroid and Levoxyl contain thyroxine sodium. Side effects are rare but do occur in some people, according to the American Thyroid Association.

Loss of Bone Strength

Pharmaceutical product guidelines for use of Synthroid and Levoxyl, both of which contain thyroxine sodium, state that use of the drugs for too long, or at too high a dose, may lead to a decrease in bone density, especially in postmenopausal women. Bone loss may lead to osteoporosis, a bone disease that causes an increased risk of bone fracture.

Racing Heart

Patients may experience a racing or skipping heartbeat and shortness of breath, which may in turn lead to a feeling of increased anxiety, nervousness, shakiness or restlessness. According to the American Thyroid Association, side effects often occur because a dose is too large or too small. Too large a dose can cause many processes, including the heartbeat, to speed up.

Temperature Sensitivity

Thyroxine sodium can increase a patient's metabolism, causing a patient to sweat more or feel hot when those around her do not. In the case of too small a dose, a patient may feel cold and have dry skin.

Diarrhea or Constipation

Thyroxine sodium can affect the gastrointestinal system. With a high dose, a patient may experience diarrhea as bodily processes speed up. In the case of a low dose, a patient may experience constipation and abdominal cramps.

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