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All about: Liothyronine Tablets

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Generic Name: Liothyronine Tablets (lye-oh-THYE-roh-neen)
Brand Name: Cytomel

Liothyronine, used alone or with other medicines, should not be used to treat obesity or for weight loss. Large doses may cause serious or life-threatening situations, particularly when used with other medicines that reduce the appetite.


Liothyronine is used for:

Treating low thyroid function. It is also used to treat or prevent different types of goiters, as an aid to diagnose certain thyroid conditions, or to treat patients who are allergic to other thyroid medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Liothyronine is a thyroid hormone. It works by replacing or supplementing the natural thyroid hormones in the body.

Do NOT use Liothyronine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Liothyronine
  • you have had or are having a heart attack or you have untreated thyrotoxicosis (a condition characterized by chest pain, increased heartbeat, pounding in the chest, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, and nervousness)
  • you have certain uncorrected adrenal gland problems

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Liothyronine:

Some medical conditions may interact with Liothyronine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are planning to have surgery
  • if you are taking blood thinners
  • if you have heart disease, angina or chest pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, an overactive thyroid, a long-standing condition of underactive thyroid, or myxedema (a condition characterized by chest pain, increased heart rate, pounding in the chest, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, and nervousness)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Liothyronine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Estrogen or birth control pills because they may decrease Liothyronine's effectiveness
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), digitalis glycosides (eg, digoxin), ketamine, tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), or vasopressors (eg, norepinephrine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Liothyronine
  • Insulin or any other medicine for diabetes (eg, glyburide) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Liothyronine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Liothyronine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Liothyronine:

Use Liothyronine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Liothyronine by mouth with or without food.
  • Liothyronine works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • Take Liothyronine at least 4 hours apart from calcium salts (eg, calcium carbonate), cholestyramine, or sucralfate.
  • Continuous use of Liothyronine for a few weeks may be necessary to relieve symptoms of your condition.
  • If you miss a dose of Liothyronine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Liothyronine.

Important safety information:

  • Check with your doctor if you experience trembling or shaking of hands, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, headache, change in appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, increased sweating, increased sensitivity to heat, increased heart rate, chest pain, or shortness of breath. These symptoms may mean that your dose needs to be adjusted. Do not adjust your dose or stop taking Liothyronine without checking with your doctor.
  • Liothyronine will be taken for life, except in the cases of temporary low thyroid activity associated with thyroid inflammation or if you are taking Liothyronine on a trial basis.
  • If you are taking blood thinners when you start taking Liothyronine, lab tests will be required to determine a dose adjustment in the blood thinners.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take this medicine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Diabetes patients - Liothyronine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including thyroid function tests, may be performed while you use Liothyronine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Liothyronine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • CHILDREN may experience a partial loss of hair during the first few months that they take Liothyronine. This effect is usually temporary. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Liothyronine while you are pregnant. Liothyronine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Liothyronine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Liothyronine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Partial, temporary hair loss in children.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); changes in appetite; changes in menstrual periods; changes in weight; chest pain; diarrhea; difficulty breathing; excessive sweating; headache; inability to tolerate warm or hot room/weather conditions; increased heart rate; irregular heartbeat; leg cramps; nervousness; pounding in the chest; shortness of breath; tremor; vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; fast heart rate; nervousness; stomach cramps; trouble sleeping; weight loss.

Proper storage of Liothyronine:

Store Liothyronine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Liothyronine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Liothyronine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Liothyronine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Liothyronine. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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