Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Hypothyroidism

Font Size

Medications

Thyroid hormone medicine is the only effective way to treat hypothyroidism. In most cases, thyroid hormone medicine:

  • Reduces or eliminates symptoms of hypothyroidism. Symptoms usually improve within the first week after you begin therapy. All symptoms usually disappear within a few months.
  • May reduce the risk of slowed physical growth, intellectual disability, and behavioral problems in infants and children.

Thyroid hormone medicine does not cause side effects if you take the correct dose.

Recommended Related to Women

End Your Nagging Habit

By Sarah Mahoney How to quit nitpicking It's not even noon on a Sunday, and I've been biting my tongue all morning. When my husband sat down to Web surf two hours ago, I resisted the urge to remind him that he had promised to clean the basement. I held my tongue again when our 13-year-old trashed the kitchen while creating his "it's due tomorrow!" science project. And I even managed to stifle myself when my teenage daughter left a plate in the sink instead of reaching 18 inches...

Read the End Your Nagging Habit article > >

What to think about

People who have hypothyroidism need treatment with thyroid hormone medicine. Depending on the cause of their hypothyroidism, they may need treatment for the rest of their lives.

Taking certain supplements, such as calcium or iron (or both), at the same time as thyroid hormone medicine may reduce the amount of thyroid hormone medicine absorbed by the body. Take calcium supplements at least 4 hours before or after taking thyroid hormone medicine. Also avoid taking iron supplements at the same time as thyroid medicine.

Talk to your doctor about whether you need to change your dose of thyroid medicine if you also take birth control pills or other hormones. You may need to take more thyroid hormone medicine than you would if you were not taking these hormones.

Follow-up visits with your doctor are important to make sure that you are taking the correct dose of medicine. Most people have blood tests 6 to 8 weeks after starting treatment. After thyroid hormone levels return to normal, thyroid function tests are typically rechecked once a year.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.