Side Effects of Liothyronine

Chest pain, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and flushing are some of the potential side effects of liothyronine. Side effects typically occur when the dosage is too high. Any possible side effects should be reported to your healthcare provider, as they may signal that your dosage needs to be adjusted. You should also seek medical attention immediately if you develop any signs of an allergic reaction.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Liothyronine

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with liothyronine sodium (Cytomel®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects of liothyronine do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with liothyronine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of liothyronine side effects with you.)

Possible Liothyronine Side Effects

Side effects of liothyronine typically occur when the dose is too high. Too much thyroid hormone causes symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Some of these symptoms can be quite dangerous, and any of these symptoms should be reported to your healthcare provider, as they may signal that your liothyronine dosage needs to be adjusted. These side effects include:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • A rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Heart failure, chest pain, or a heart attack
  • Heart palpitations
  • An increased appetite, along with weight loss
  • Feeling hot all the time and increased sweating
  • Fever
  • Hyperactivity, nervousness, anxiety, or irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Emotional changes
  • Shakiness or muscle weakness
  • Difficult or painful breathing
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
  • Hair loss
  • Flushing
  • Broken bones or other signs of weakened bones
  • Difficulty breathing, especially if accompanied by fluid retention in the legs or feet (signs of congestive heart failure or CHF)
  • Menstrual problems or fertility problems
  • Seizures.
As with any medication, liothyronine can also cause allergic reactions. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop signs of an allergic reaction, including:
  • An unexplained rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Unexplained swelling (especially of the lips, mouth, or throat)
  • Wheezing or other breathing problems.

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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