Generic Name of
Levothyroxine is a synthetic thyroid hormone, which is effectively used to manage hypothyroidism in dogs and cats. Thyroid hormones secreted by the thyroid glands are essential for the normal growth and functioning. When an animal fails to produce enough thyroid hormones to support normal cell metabolism, hypothyroidism develops, which normally requires life long treatment. Hypothyroidism is rare in cats; while in canines it is usually caused by autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid glands. Weakness, inferior hair coat and obesity are some of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Precautions when using
Animals that are allergic to this drug or those with Addison’s disease should not be treated with soloxine. Extreme caution is required while treating animals with high blood pressure. It can interact with certain drugs such as insulin, epinephrine, ketamine, warfarin, theophylline, digoxin, phenytoin and barbiturates. Hence, it is advisable to let the veterinarian know about any other medications that the pet is being treated with. Only those pets that are precisely diagnosed with hypothyroidism should be treated with soloxine. Never administer Levothyroxine immediately after giving vitamin supplements or mineral combinations containing iron or calcium. The action mechanism of Levothyroxine might differ in different brands, so it is important to test the T4 levels, every time a brand is changed.
Side Effects of
Levothyroxine produces no significant side effects if administered in correct doses as per the blood test results. However, an overdose might result in thyrotoxicosis with symptoms like increased thirst and hunger, hyperactivity, etc.
Appropriate dosage of Levothryoxine depends upon your pet's condition, body weight, and interaction with the medication. Close monitoring of your pet's condition will be necessary to ensure that the assigned dosage is correct. Adjustment throughout treatment may be necessary. Levothryoxine must be taken on an empty stomach about a half an hour before your pet has meals.
Brand Names of
Soloxine (Daniels) and ThyroTabs (Vet-A-Mix), Levotabs (Vetus), Synthroid (Knoll), Thyrosyn (Vedco)