Liothyronine

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Liothyronine is a form of thyroid hormone replacement therapy that is used to treat extremely low thyroid hormone level. It restores the levels of thyroid hormone within the thyroid gland, so that they are within the normal range. It is less commonly prescribed than other forms of synthetic thyroid hormone, such as levothyroxine, but is sometimes required for severe thyroid disease when thyroid hormone levels need to be restored quickly. 

  • Contains a synthetic version of a thyroid hormone
  • Effective for treating hypothyroidism
  • Suitable for those who can't have Levothyroxine
  • Genuine medication
  • Shipped from EU Pharmacies
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More information

Type of drugThyroid agent
Health conditions prescribed forHypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
Active IngredientLiothyronine sodium
Available strengths20mcg
Available asTablets
Possible side effectsHeadache, muscle weakness, feeling hot, rash, weight loss, irregular menstrual periods, trouble breathing, diarrhoea, increased appetite, tremors, nervousness, irritability, and insomnia

Liothyronine - Key Information

Your body produces two main hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroxine is a pro-hormone that needs to be converted to T3, the active thyroid hormone your body uses for many functions (Thyroid UK, 2021).

  • Liothyronine is the synthetic version of triiodothyronine (T3). For most people suffering with a thyroid disorder such as an underactive thyroid, levothyroxine treatment can help them to achieve normal thyroid function. When levothyroxine monotherapy (treatment with levothyroxine by itself) hasn't been effective, it can be used in combination with liothyronine, if approved by your doctor.
  • It is prescribed to treat extremely low levels of thyroid hormone caused by thyroid disorders such as an underactive thyroid
  • Liothyronine tablets may also be prescribed to treat an overactive thyroid gland if natural thyroid hormone production has been medically blocked
  • Liothyronine can also help reduce the size of enlarged thyroid glands (goiter) and treat thyroid cancer.
  • Liothyronine may work more quickly than other forms of synthetic thyroid hormone
  • You will need to have your thyroid hormone levels measured regularly when taking liothyronine
  • Side effects may occur if your dose of liothyronine is too high
  • It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.

Prescription Guidance from NHS England

Updated guidance from NHS England on treating hypothyroidism advises that liothyronine should only be prescribed by a consultant NHS endocrinologist; similarly, the British Thyroid Association advise that liothyronine (T3) should only be considered by prescribers in certain circumstances (Ahluwalia et al, 2023). Thyroid patients already taking it should be reviewed by a specialist if they haven't been already.

Why is Liothyronine not routinely prescribed anymore?

In 2017, NHS England was asked by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to consult on guidance for “Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care”, this including prescribing Liothyronine T3. Obtaining an NHS prescription for Liothyronine (T3) was included in this list because it falls under the category of Items that are clinically effective but where more cost-effective alternatives are available, including those that have been subject to excessive price inflation. (Thyroid UK, 2023)

Importance of Regular Thyroid Function Test Monitoring

If liothyronine sodium tablet treatment is taken on a long-term basis, thyroid function tests should be repeated 1–2 months (BNF, 2024).

Liothyronine is a hormone drug that works in a similar way to the body’s natural thyroid hormone (Drugbank, 2024).

Hypothyroidism

When your body does not produce enough thyroid hormone, this is called hypothyroidism.

Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

According to the NHS (2021), common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Depression
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weight gain
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Irregular or heavy periods
  • Pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Loss of libido
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Slow movements and thoughts

Liothyronine replaces the naturally occurring thyroid hormone to make sure that vital processes within the body can still occur. 

Hyperthyroidism

If your body produces too much thyroid hormone, this is called hyperthyroidism.

Common Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

According to the NHS (2023), common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Constant tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
  • Hyperactivity and restlessness
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Muscle weakness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Frequent urination
  • Persistent thirst
  • Itchiness
  • Loss of interest in sex

Your doctor or pharmacist may prescribe a tablet to block your body from making any thyroid hormone, but then replace it with a safe dose of liothyronine.

What experiences have Liothyronine users had?

Every patient suffering from a thyroid condition has a unique individual experience when taking Liothyronine as a treatment.

User Reviews for Liothyronine

There are many Liothyronine user reviews available at Drugs.com and WebMD.

For more product information on the prescription medication patients should refer to the Liothyronine patient information leaflet.

Usage Advice

Before starting treatment, read the manufacturer's information leaflet inside the pack. It provides details about liothyronine and a full list of potential side effects.

Take liothyronine exactly as your doctor instructs. Typically, your doctor will start you on a small dose (such as ½-1 tablet a day) and gradually increase it to two or three tablets daily, taken at intervals throughout the day.

Take the tablets with a drink of water. You can take liothyronine either before or after meals.

How can your healthcare provider help you during Liothyronine treatment?

  • Keep regular appointments with your doctor to monitor your progress. You will need regular blood tests to check your thyroid levels, especially in the early stages of treatment.
  • Continue taking the tablets until your doctor advises you to stop.
  • If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood glucose levels more frequently, as these tablets can affect blood sugar levels. Your doctor will guide you on this.
  • If you are due for surgery or any dental treatment, inform the healthcare provider that you are taking liothyronine.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Liothyronine?

If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Try to take the correct number of doses each day, but do not double up to make up for any missed doses.

Dosage

The starting dose of liothyronine is usually 10 to 20 micrograms every 8 hours. After one week, the dose may be increased to 30 micrograms twice a day or 20 micrograms three times a day (EMC, 2023).

Your doctor should monitor your thyroid hormone levels to ensure you are taking the correct dose.

Side Effects

Like all medications, liothyronine can have some side effects. Side effects are more likely to occur if the dose is too high. According to Mayo Clinic (2024) most common side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting (feeling sick and being sick)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Palpitations (feeling your heart pounding in your chest)
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling restless
  • Shaking or having a tremor
  • Losing weight
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Flushing.

These side effects are likely to settle down if your dose is reduced. Speak to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare provider for medical advice if you experience side effects. 

Serious allergic reactions happen very rarely. If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip swelling or tongue swelling, call 111 immediately.

Warnings

Liothyronine may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your prescriber if you:

  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have heart or blood vessel disease
  • Have an abnormal heart rhythm
  • Have diabetes mellitus (diabetes related to high blood sugar levels)
  • Have diabetes insipidus (diabetes related to excessive urine production)
  • Have galactose intolerance
  • Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.

Some medications can have drug interactions with liothyronine. You may be advised that liothyronine will not suit you if you already take:

  • Anticoagulants such as warfarin
  • Phenytoin, carbamazepine or primidone for seizures or epilepsy
  • Cholestyramine
  • Colestipol
  • Medications for heart disease
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Amiodarone
  • Amitriptyline
  • Imipramine
  • Barbiturates.

Because liothyronine tablet treatment may not suit all patients, EU Meds will complete an online consultation with you, including a health questionnaire that will be reviewed by a registered doctor, prior to your order. This will ensure that the medication is suitable for you.

A registered doctor will review your current medications, including any herbal remedies or supplements, to ensure that liothyronine will not interact with them. 

Once prescribed, liothyronine can be ordered via electronic prescription and it can then be conveniently dispatched from one of our partner pharmacies. 

The prescribing of unlicensed liothyronine and thyroid extract products (e.g., Armour Thyroid and ERFA Thyroid) is not recommended due to concerns about their safety, quality, and efficacy. This includes:

  • Compounded thyroid hormones
  • Iodine-containing preparations
  • Dietary supplements

Liothyronine FAQs

Can liothyronine be used as a combination therapy with levothyroxine?

Liothyronine, as a combination therapy with levothyroxine, can treat persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism that significantly impact quality of life, even when levothyroxine alone has adequately resolved the biochemical aspects of hypothyroidism (NHS Derbyshire Medicines Management, 2022). You doctor can assess if combination treatment is suitable and safe your individual needs.

Can I take liothyronine and levothyroxine together?

Yes, you can take liothyronine and levothyroxine together but only if it has been deemed as a suitable treatment for you by your doctor or healthcare provider.

Can i take liothyronine at night?

Yes, you can take your thyroid medication at night, as long as it’s on an empty stomach (Drugs.com, 2022).

Can liothyronine cause high blood pressure?

Yes, increased blood pressure is a potential reported side effect of liothyronine tablets (Mayo Clinic, 2024). You should always speak with your doctor prior to starting treatment with any medication to ensure it is safe for you.

Can you take liothyronine with food?

Yes, you can take liothyronine either before or after meals (Stewart, M.; 2022). Take the tablets with a glass of water.

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Buying Liothyronine Online

Can I buy Liothyronine online?

You can safely buy Liothyronine online at EU Meds. You will first need to have an online consultation with a registered doctor for approval, before your private prescription can be issued and your order can be supplied. The online consultation will ensure that Liothyronine is the right medication for your medical condition.

Do I need a prescription for Liothyronine?

Yes, in order to purchase Liothyronine you will need a valid prescription. Please note, all requests for supply of prescription medications are subject to an online clinical consultation and the decision to prescribe will be made by a doctor.

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