Liothyronine sodium is a synthetic or man-made version of the naturally occurring thyroid hormone T3, or triiodothyronine. Produced in and released from the thyroid gland, T3 primarily functions in regulating the body’s metabolism and is required for growth and development. Liothyronine sodium is indicated for the treatment of hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormones, which affects approximately 5 percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Center. As with all drugs, liothyronine sodium has its associated risks.
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Cardiovascular, Nervous and Digestive System Side Effects
Side effects can occur while taking liothyronine sodium, particularly to the cardiovascular, nervous and digestive systems. The most common cardiovascular side effects include heartbeat and heart rate irregularities, chest pain or discomfort, low blood pressure and possible cardiac arrest, according to drugs.com. Central nervous system side effects may include headache, tremors, insomnia and nervousness. Nausea and vomiting may occur as well as temporary hair loss, weight loss and menstrual irregularities.
Liothyronine sodium may interact with a variety of medications resulting in unwanted side effects. It is important to speak with a pharmacist or doctor before taking liothyronine sodium. Liothyronine sodium may increase the effects of anti-blood clot medications known as anticoagulants. It may also decrease the effects of a class of high blood pressure medications known as beta blockers, as well as cardiac stimulant medications containing glycosides, according to Drugs.com. Liothyronine sodium may also interact with oral diabetes or insulin medications, tricyclic antidepressants, steroids and pain relievers containing salicylates such as aspirin, according to RxList.
Weight Loss and Overdose
Liothyronine sodium increases an individual’s metabolic rate, which may lead to weight loss. However, it should not be used as a weight loss drug as it has been shown to be ineffective and large doses may lead to serious and possibly life-threatening complications, according to Drugs.com. Seek medical attention if an overdose of liothyronine sodium is suspected. Symptoms of overdose may include sweating, headache and diarrhea, irritability and confusion, swelling in the hands and feet, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath and fainting.