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levothyroxine (LEVO-T, LEVOTHYROID, LEVOXYL, NOVOTHYROX, SYNTHROID, THYRO-TABS, TIROSINT, UNITHROID)

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  • Thyroid Hormone [hide all summaries]
    Variations in the amount of active levothyroxine available in a tablet can affect both the safety and effectiveness of the drug. Levothyroxine is unstable in the presence of light, temperature, air, and humidity. Patients who receive superpotent tablets (too much levothyroxine) experience chest pain, rapid heart rate, or heart rhythm disturbances. There is also evidence that overtreatment can cause the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis. Subpotent (too little levothyroxine) tablets will not be effective in controlling the symptoms of low thyroid hormone production (hypothyroid).

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Additional Information from Public Citizen

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  • [hide all summaries]
    Testimony before FDA Public Meeting on Levothyroxine Sodium Therapeutic Equivalence (HRG Publication #1744)
  • [hide all summaries]
    In 1978, the last year for which data are available, the FDA estimated that 240 pre-1938 pharmaceuticals were being manufactured. Of these, only 45 had submitted safety and efficacy data in New Drug Applications, in most instances not for all dosage forms of the medication.

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