When your thyroid gland is underactive (called hypothyroidism) it produces too little hormone. This may lead to a variety of symptoms, including weight gain, fatigue, depression, dry skin, brain fog, cold intolerance, muscle cramps, and constipation.
It is virtually certain that if you struggle with Hypothyroidism you would have been prescribed the medication levothyroxine (marketed under the brand names Synthroid, Levoxyl, and others)—a synthetic hormone that replenishes the thyroid hormone thyroxine, also known as T4.
T4 is the stored form of thyroid hormone in our bodies. We need to convert it in to T3. However, not everyone can do this adequately.
If you are on levothyroxine and still not feeling well, another medication known as Cytomel (liothyronine) may help. This is the synthetic form of the hormone triiodothyronine, known as T3.
What Is Cytomel?
Cytomel is the brand name for liothyronine sodium tablets. It provides both T4 and T3 but is a man-made form of thyroid hormone.
How Cytomel (Liothyronine) Works?
Cytomel is useful as a supplemental or replacement thyroid treatment for those with most forms of hypothyroidism. It is particularly useful for patients who wish to take a T3 and T4 compound but who are allergic to either desiccated thyroid, or one of the natural thyroid remedy inactive ingredients.
As it is made using synthetic thyroid hormone, it is much easier to determine a standardized dose.
What Is Cytomel (Liothyronine) Used For?
- Thyroid cancer (with radiation and surgery)
- Thyroid suppression test
Is Generic Cytomel Available?
Yes. Generic Cytomel is now available from Canada. Teva-Liothyronine, manufactured by Teva Canada, is generic product coming in both 5mcg and 25mcg.
What are the side effects of Cytomel (liothyronine)?
Side effects with Teva-Liothyronine may include symptoms of hyperthyroidism as follows: Headache, excessive sweating, fatigue, increased appetite, weight loss, fever, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, cardiac arrhythmias (heartbeats which are irregular or too fast), angina pectoris (chest pain), diarrhea and menstrual irregularities.
For more information about generic Cytomel, please check product monograph.
- Health Canada