Hypothyroidism, also known generally as underactive thyroid is a medical condition concerning an endocrine system, in this case, the thyroid glands do not produce sufficient amount of thyroid hormone. This disorder is characterized by symptoms such as inability or poor ability to tolerate cold, tiredness, depression, constipation and weight gain. The thyroid glands are located in the neck and this condition may also lead to swollen neck due to goiter. This condition when left untreated may lead to retarded in physical and intellectual development of the baby, in pregnancy. Thyroxine or Levothyroxine, the hormones which are released by this gland enter your bloodstream and have an effect on heart, brain, muscles, skin and other parts of your body.

The most reason for hypothyroidism worldwide is the little iodine content in food. In countries where there is enough amount of Iodine in diet, the common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Not as prevalent but other causes of Hypothyroidism include treatment with radioactive iodine, hypothalamus injury, few medications, and birth borne thyroid malfunctioning. The most common diagnosis of Hypothyroidism is blood tests measuring thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The iodization of salt has helped prevent hypothyroidism in many populations. This condition can be treated with Levothyroxine tablets. Though a certain required amount of Iodine is very much needed, an excess of it can aggravate certain types of hypothyroidism.

Across one billion people across the globe are said to be deficient in Iodine intake, it is however not known, how much of that will lead to hypothyroidism. Another form of Hypothyroidism is Subclinical hypothyroidism; it is a milder form and is characterized by normal Thyroxine levels but elevated TSH level. Hypothyroidism is found more commonly in women than men, the prevalence of this is higher in people aged more than 60.

Levothyroxine is an effective therapy which assists patients in the capable and potent management of underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Levothyroxine is a dynamic thyroid medication that is a hormone replacement therapy, it is used as through replacing a hormone which is naturally produced by the thyroid gland, by filling the deficiency, this hormone regulates normal mental and physical activity in-patient. This thyroid medication is also found useful in exhibiting excelling appliance in the management certain other thyroid disorders such as goiter and thyroid cancer.

The mode of action of Levothyroxine is similar to the endogenous thyroid hormone Thyroxine (T4) which after passing through the liver, gets converted into T3, the active metabolite of T4. This drug binds to thyroid hormone binding proteins and thyroxine-binding globulin. It couples with thyroid hormone receptors located in cytoplasm and nucleus thereby carrying on the function of Thyroxine by fulfilling its deficiency.

Levothyroxine is available as a tablet formulation, to be taken with glassful water, on an empty stomach, once in a day. Ingest this medication about half to one hour before having breakfast. The most recommended dose of Levothyroxine in adults or children whose puberty is attained is 100 to 125 mcg taken each day. In cases of severe Hypothyroidism, take 12.5 to 50 mcg orally once a day; the dose can further be increased to 12.5 to 25 mcg/day increments in every 2 to 4 weeks. The dosing presented here is not an alternative to doctor's prescription.

Some side effects that may bring about inconvenience to a few of the users are

1.   Headache

2.   A feeling of nervousness or irritability

3.   Diarrhea

4.   Skin rash

5.   Muscle weakness, leg cramp


Precautions to be taken:

1.  A patient needs to avert the ingestion of foods such as cottonseed meal, walnuts, infant soy formula and high-fiber foods as their intake lowers the bioavailability of Levothyroxine in user body.

2.  Have a thorough discussion with your doctor about the pros and cons of this medication if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding a child.

3.  Take this drug exactly as prescribed by your doctor, do not take it in higher or lower amount or for longer than prescribed. Your doctor may continually adjust your dose.

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