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Levothyroxine Thyroid Hormone Replacement, Approved for Hypothyroidism

The thyroid hormone replacement prescription drug, levothyroxine sodium (Unithroid) for hypothyroidism in adults and children has been approved for use in the United States by the FDA.

The thyroid hormaone is involved in the regulation of a wide range of metabolic processes within the body in all age groups. In children thyroid hormones are essential for normal physical growth and intellectual development.

Low levels of thyroid hormone or hypothyroidism may be due to a birth defect for examole partial or complete absence of the thyroid gland or it may occur later in life due in conditions such as thyroiditis, goiter, or on surgical removal of the thyroid gland.

Other or previously-used medications, such as Synthroid, Cytomel, Euthyroid, Thyrolar, and Armour Thyroid, are often difficult to control, and sometimes results in symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Levothyroxine sodium (Unithroid) is identical to a natural thyroid hormone produced by the body.

During initiation of replacement therapy with levothyroxine, blood tests are usually performed every six to eight weeks in adults to aid in dose adjustment. Once the optimal replacement dose of levothryoxine for an individual adult patient is determined, blood tests are usually done less frequently; e.g., every six to twelve months.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include poor growth in children and, in those born with this disorder, impaired intellectual development if this disorder is not promptly and adequately treated. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in children and adults include fatigue, cold intolerance, dry skin, lethargy and weight gain.
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