Medication for Underactive Thyroid

An underactive thyroid is treated with medications. These medicines are known as synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Brand name versions of these medicines include Levoxyl®, Synthroid®, Levothroid®Tirosint®, and Unithroid®.  Levothyroxine is the generic version.
In most cases, these drugs can completely control hypothyroidism, typically relieving symptoms and returning thyroid hormone levels to normal in six to eight weeks. During treatment, levels of TSH and T4 are measured using a simple blood test.
However, underactive thyroid medications are not "one-size-fits-all" drugs, and there is no "standard" dose that is right for every single person. People have varying degrees of hypothyroidism and, as a result, their dose is tailored accordingly. In addition, the dose may need to be changed as a person ages or during a woman's pregnancy.
(Click Treatment for Underactive Thyroid to learn more about how this condition is treated, including how a person's medication dosage is determined, how long treatment lasts, and how these drugs work.)
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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