Treat­ment Op­tions

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Treat­ment of an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid:

Thy­rox­ine – the hor­mone lev­els are re­placed with a med­i­ca­tion called levothy­rox­ine. Doses of­ten star t small and are then ad­justed, with blood tests ever y so of­ten to check whether or not the dose is cor­rect. Once you are estab­lished on the cor­rect dose you will need to have a blood test an­nu­ally to en­sure that your dosage re­quire­ments have not changed.

Hy­pothy­roidism in preg­nancy – you will be re­ferred to a spe­cial­ist in preg­nancy as your dosage needs are likely to in­crease dur­ing your preg­nancy.

Peo­ple with hy­pothy­roidism are en­ti­tled to free pre­scrip­tions. Your GP surgery will give you a form to ob­tain a free pre­scrip­tions card.

Treat­ment of an over­ac­tive thy­roid:

This de­pends on the cause and any treat­ment aims to re­duce the lev­els of thy­roid hor­mone back down to nor­mal as well as con­trol­ling symp­toms.

Car­bima­zole – this is a med­i­ca­tion com­monly used to treat an over­ac­tive thy­roid and works to stop the thy­roid gland pro­duc­ing thy­rox­ine. How­ever it does not neu­tralise or get rid of the thy­rox­ine which has al­ready been made so it takes

1-2 months to work. Car­bima­zole is of­ten taken for 12-18 months be­fore stop­ping, though it may need to be restar ted.

Rarely, car­bima­zole can af fect the white cells in your blood, which are in­volved in fight­ing infection. If you de­velop a sore throat or high fever while tak­ing the med­i­ca­tion you should see a doc­tor ur­gently who will ar­range an ur­gent blood test to check the white blood cell lev­els.

Car­bima­zole is safe to take while breast­feed­ing, though an al­ter­na­tive med­i­ca­tion called propy­lth­iouracil is gen­er­ally used dur­ing preg­nancy.

Pro­pra­nolol – while you are wait­ing for the car­bima­zole to take ef fect your doc­tor may pre­scribe the beta blocker med­i­ca­tion, pro­pra­nolol. This does not ef­fect the amount of thy­roid hor­mone in the body but it can help con­trol symp­toms such as pal­pi­ta­tions, tremor and anx­i­ety.

The cause will dic­tate treat­ment

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