FAQs | LEVOXYL® (levothyroxine sodium tablets, USP) | Safety Info

Frequently Asked Questions

Although your doctor is the best source for answering your specific questions about hypothyroidism and treatment with LEVOXYL, you can find answers to common questions here.

General Information About LEVOXYL

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What is LEVOXYL?

The levothyroxine in LEVOXYL is intended to replace or supplement a hormone that is normally produced by your thyroid gland. It is used as replacement or supplemental therapy in low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) of any cause, except transient hypothyroidism during the recovery phase of subacute thyroiditis. It is also used in the treatment or prevention of certain types of goiters and, as additional therapy, in the management of a specific thyroid cancer.

What is the most important information I should know about LEVOXYL?

You should not use thyroid hormone, including LEVOXYL, either alone or with other drugs, to treat obesity or for weight loss. The normal daily doses of thyroid hormone are not effective for weight loss if your thyroid function is normal. Taking larger-than-normal doses of thyroid hormone may cause serious or life-threatening side effects, particularly if you also take certain stimulant weight loss drugs.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking LEVOXYL?

Tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • are allergic to any foods or medicines
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking LEVOXYL, it is likely that your dose will need to be increased while you are pregnant
  • are breast-feeding
  • have any other medical conditions, particularly heart problems, diabetes, blood clotting problems, or problems with your adrenal or pituitary gland. You may need adjustments to your current therapy and more frequent monitoring of your condition(s)
  • are taking any other medicines, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. This is important because the dosing of your other medicines may need to change while you are taking LEVOXYL

How do I get LEVOXYL?

LEVOXYL is available by prescription only, so you’ll need to ask your doctor if LEVOXYL is right for you.

Does LEVOXYL have a Narrow Therapeutic Index (NTI)?

LEVOXYL has a Narrow Therapeutic Index (NTI). Slight changes to your dose or to your medication may impact the effectiveness of your hypothyroidism treatment. That is why it's important to keep taking the exact dose and medication that your healthcare provider has determined works for you.

Do I need to have Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels tested?

When you begin taking LEVOXYL, your healthcare provider will monitor you closely for symptoms and order laboratory tests, including one to evaluate your TSH levels, to make sure you're on the right dose.

Your doctor will determine which laboratory tests you will need and when you will need to be seen again. For some patients, it is necessary to change their dosage several times until their doctor finds the appropriate dosing strength. A dose adjustment or change to your treatment regimen must be made under the close supervision of your healthcare provider.

How to Get Brand-Name LEVOXYL

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How can I ensure that I won’t get switched to a generic substitute?

Here are 3 suggested tips to help make sure you receive brand-name LEVOXYL and not a generic:

  1. At your doctor’s office: Ask your doctor to prescribe brand-name LEVOXYL and to indicate “DAW” (Dispense As Written)—or the language used in your state—on all of your LEVOXYL prescriptions.
  2. At your pharmacy’s drop-off: Tell the pharmacist that you want brand-name LEVOXYL—and be sure to use the LEVOXYL Savings Card. The LEVOXYL Savings Card can only be used with brand-name LEVOXYL.
  3. At your pharmacy’s pick-up: Check your pills to be sure they’re brand-name LEVOXYL—not the generic—and also check that you’ve saved on your prescription.

What should I do if I receive a generic substitute instead of brand-name LEVOXYL?

Talk to your doctor and/or your pharmacist to ask if you should be getting brand-name LEVOXYL.

How do I know if I received brand-name LEVOXYL?

Check your pills for the distinctive shape and markings of brand-name LEVOXYL.

Saving on LEVOXYL

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What is the LEVOXYL Savings Card?

The LEVOXYL Savings Card allows eligible patients to save up to $5 off 3 prescriptions of brand-name LEVOXYL, for a maximum savings of $15 per year. If you have a prescription for brand-name LEVOXYL, you can use the card through December 31, 2020.*

*Terms and conditions apply.

How do I use the LEVOXYL Savings Card?

There are 2 ways to use the card immediately. Once you’ve activated your Savings Card, you can either:

  • Bring a printed copy of it to the pharmacy
  • Show it to your pharmacist on your phone

You can keep this card with you and continue to save on up to 3 fills of LEVOXYL through December 31, 2020.

Who is eligible to use the LEVOXYL Savings Card?

To be eligible to use a LEVOXYL Savings Card, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Not be a resident of Massachusetts
  • Not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state healthcare programs
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The Card is not valid for California residents whose prescriptions are covered in whole or in part by third-party insurance, a healthcare service plan, or other health coverage where a lower cost generic is available, unless applicable step therapy or prior authorization requirements have been completed.

Please check with your healthcare professional or insurer to confirm eligibility.

To learn the full details of who is eligible, please see the full Terms and Conditions.

How do I get a LEVOXYL Savings Card?

To get a Savings Card, register here and then download your card or have it sent to you via mail or email.

If I already have a LEVOXYL Savings Card, how can I activate it?

You can activate your Savings Card here.

Can I use the LEVOXYL Savings Card on a previously filled prescription?

The LEVOXYL Savings Card can only be used for new prescriptions that are filled after you have activated the card.

Does the LEVOXYL Savings Card work at nonparticipating pharmacies?

Yes, for reimbursement when using a nonparticipating pharmacy: Pay for your prescription and mail a copy of the original pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt NOT valid) with the product name, date, and amount circled to: Pfizer, ATTN: LEVOXYL, PO Box 4939, Warren, NJ 07059-6600. Include a copy of the front of your LEVOXYL Savings Card, your name, and mailing address. Please expect up to 4 to 6 weeks for reimbursement.

Does the LEVOXYL Savings Card work through mail-order pharmacies?

Yes, for reimbursement when using a mail-order pharmacy: Pay for your prescription and mail a copy of the original pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt NOT valid) with the product name, date, and amount circled to: Pfizer, ATTN: LEVOXYL, PO Box 4939, Warren, NJ 07059-6600. Include a copy of the front of your LEVOXYL Savings Card, your name, and mailing address. Please expect up to 4 to 6 weeks for reimbursement.

Taking LEVOXYL

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How am I supposed to take LEVOXYL?

  • In the morning on an empty stomach
  • At least one-half hour before eating any food
  • With a full glass of water

 

Stay on your prescribed dose of LEVOXYL and always follow the dosing instructions discussed with your healthcare provider. How you take LEVOXYL affects the way your body absorbs the medication, so it’s important to take LEVOXYL exactly as prescribed.

 

Remember to take your medication consistently each day. Never change your prescribed dose without talking to your healthcare provider first about your concerns and sharing any symptoms you might have. Only you know how you’re feeling, but only your healthcare provider can decide on the right dose of LEVOXYL for you.

Do I take LEVOXYL with or without food?

You should take LEVOXYL:

  • In the morning on an empty stomach
  • At least one-half hour before eating any food
  • With a full glass of water
  • LEVOXYL should be taken at least 4 hours apart from drugs that are known to interfere with its absorption

Safety & Possible Side Effects

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Who should not take LEVOXYL?

You should not use LEVOXYL if you:

  • have abnormally high levels of thyroid hormone
  • have untreated low adrenal gland function (adrenal insufficiency)
  • have had a recent heart attack or symptoms of a heart attack
  • are allergic to levothyroxine sodium or to any of the ingredients in LEVOXYL. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get hives, itching, rash, flushing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, joint pain, or wheezing, as these may be signs you are having an allergic reaction
  • are treating male or female infertility unless the infertility is caused by low thyroid activity
  • in a certain type of goiter or for thyroid small masses (particularly in the elderly or those with heart and blood vessel disease), if the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level is already lowered. If the TSH level is not lowered, LEVOXYL should be used with caution

What are the common side effects associated with LEVOXYL?

You should notify your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms (or any other unusual medical events):

  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • change in appetite
  • chest pain
  • weight gain or loss
  • shortness of breath
  • vomiting
  • leg cramps
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • excessive sweating
  • nervousness
  • heat intolerance
  • irritability
  • fever
  • sleeplessness
  • changes in menstrual periods
  • tremors
  • hives or skin rash
  • partial temporary hair loss

About Hypothyroidism

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What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone to keep it running normally. In contrast, hyperthyroidism refers to a condition in which your body makes too much thyroid hormone.

How many people in the US have hypothyroidism?

In the United States, hypothyroidism is estimated to impact approximately 15 million people and is clinically evident in about 1 million people.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism can affect you in a variety of ways. As the body produces less thyroid hormone and metabolism slows down, symptoms may develop. They can be severe or mild. In fact, sometimes people with hypothyroidism have no symptoms at all. Some people develop symptoms over several months or years, while others experience them more quickly. A wide range of symptoms may be associated with hypothyroidism, including the list displayed here.*

  • hair loss
  • forgetfulness
  • dry skin and hair
  • hoarse voice
  • slowing of heart rate
  • cold sensitivity
  • unexplained weight gain
  • constipation
  • fatigue
  • muscle cramps and joint aches
  • puffiness around the face, hands, ankles and feet
  • irritability
  • depression
  • hearing loss
  • higher cholesterol levels
  • slightly higher blood pressure
  • loss of appetite
  • changes in menstrual cycle
  • less energy
  • pins and needles in the hands and feet

*This is not a comprehensive list of symptoms.

What if I am experiencing symptoms?

Keep in mind that while you may have some similar symptoms, that doesn't mean that you have hypothyroidism. Because the type, severity, and onset of symptoms can vary from person to person, the only way to know if you have hypothyroidism is with a diagnosis from your healthcare provider. If you're experiencing symptoms, see your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.

How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?

If you suspect you have hypothyroidism, speak with your healthcare provider. Accurate diagnosis depends on a variety of observations and measures. When you are being evaluated for hypothyroidism, you can expect your healthcare provider to:

  • Assess your symptoms
  • Take a physical exam
  • Discuss medical and family history
  • Run simple blood tests that evaluate your thyroid function

Can hypothyroidism be treated?

Hypothyroidism is a treatable condition that can be managed with prescription medication. LEVOXYL is one prescription medication your doctor can prescribe. It contains a synthetic hormone that is identical to what the thyroid gland makes. Talk to your healthcare provider about starting treatment.

Once you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your healthcare provider will decide on the medication and dosage you should take to address your symptoms and to keep your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level within the recommended range. Treatment needs vary from person to person, which means the dose of medicine that works for you may be higher or lower than the dose that works for another individual.

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