There are a number of drugs that are available on the market to help treat disorders related to the thyroid gland. The type of drug a physician will prescribe will depend largely on which type of thyroid disorder is being treated. There are different disorders associated with the thyroid gland including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, both coming with a totally different set of symptoms and possible outcomes. Some of the following information may provide a more in depth look at the various drugs used to treat disorders of the thyroid gland.
What is The Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland can be found in the front area of the neck, directly below the thyroid cartilage which is also known as the “Adam’s Apple”. This particular gland functions by producing certain hormones which aid in regulating metabolism. In addition, these thyroid hormones also regulate energy expenditure, as well as the maturation and growth of tissues in the body. Common problems associated with Thyroid Disease are weight gain or weight loss as a result of an enhanced or decreased metabolism speed due to the excess of hormones or lack thereof, produced by the thyroid gland.
T4 Hormone Replacement Drugs.
T4 thyroid hormones are used to treat hypothyroidism (a decreased amount of thyroid hormones) by replacing the levels of hormones which would typically be produced by a healthy and well functioning thyroid gland. The most popular method of T4 hormone replacement is through the use of synthetic T4. This drug replaces the tyroxine which is absent or inadequate in the body. These medications go by trade names such as Unitrhoid, Levoxyl, Levethroid, Synthroid, L-Thyroxin, Novothyrox, Levolet and Levo-T. Thyroxine (T4) is only one of the hormones which are produced by the thyroid gland.
Patients suffering from hyperthyroidism (an over active thyroid gland) are often treated with antithyroid drugs to help reduce the amount of thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. These drugs come in two different forms, one is called Propylthiouracil (PTU) and the other is called Methimazole, also called Tapizole. When taken over a certain period of time, these drugs have been quite effective in reducing hyperthyroidism, and are not believed to cause any irreparable damage to the thyroid gland.
Beta Blockers for Use in Hyperthyroidism.
Most of the time patients who are suffering from hyperthyroidism will be treated with beta-blockers in order to help alleviate symptoms such as nervousness, tremors or a rapid heart beat, until the drugs given to treat the disorder take effect. The reason for this is that beta-blockers are fast acting agents and will help relieve these symptoms almost immediately.
These are just some of the more common drugs used in treating disorders of the thyroid. There is a much longer list of medications as well as specific natural remedies and experimental drugs which have been used to treat these conditions as well. The side effects and drug interactions, as well as food interactions will vary depending on the drug and dosage administered. For a more detailed look at thyroid medication it is important to refer to the label of any one of the drugs which have been prescribed.