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Prescription Drug Interactions That Could Hurt Your Thyroid Health
Although thyroid disorders are serious health problems, most of the symptoms of these disorders can be managed with strict adherence to a prescription treatment regimen. In fact, most thyroid patients who take pains to stick closely to their prescribed drug regimen report very few ongoing health problems, high quality of life, and a strong sense of overall well-being.
Understandably, maintaining strict discipline in your daily dosage is the cardinal rule for thyroid patients. If you start to experience troubling symptoms, the first thing your doctor will probably check is your adherence to your prescribed treatment plan and whether the dosages of medication that you've been prescribed are sufficient to treat your disorder.
Many thyroid patients go to great lengths to ensure as much consistency as possible in their medication routine. Pill boxes, daily alarms, and even e-mailed reminders are just a few of the techniques discussed among the participants in online thyroid disorder communities and support groups.
But recent research has suggested that the effectiveness of your thyroid medication could be thwarted by unexpected forces -- namely, other variables in your environment. Even with perfect adherence to your prescription drug regimen, you may not be getting the full benefits of your thyroid medication if another variable is interfering in the absorption of the drugs. This week, we'll take a look at the results of three recent studies that have pointed out possible weaknesses in popular thyroid medications.
Chromium Picolinate May Reduce Absorption of Thyroid Drug Levothyroxine
Weight struggles are an all-too-familiar battle for many thyroid patients, particularly those diagnosed with hypothyroidism or other disorders that result in underperforming thyroid glands. In their quest to regain or maintain a healthy weight, many thyroid patients have begun taking vitamins, supplements, and other products marketed to dieters.
However, a recent study indicated that one popular weight loss supplement may limit the effectiveness of levothyroxine, one of the most commonly prescribed thyroid mediations. The study, which was conducted by a team of researchers at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, focused on the effect of the mineral chromium picolinate, which is an ingredient in many of the most popular weight-loss formulas.
It was found that study participants who took both chromium picolinate and levothyroxine simultaneously showed substantially reduced absorption of the levothyroxine. However, this effect was eliminated if the two pills were taken at least two to three hours apart. As a result, the researchers suggested that thyroid patients who are taking both medications should consult with their physicians and consider staggering their doses of chromium picolinate and levothyroxine.
Widely Used Kidney Medication May Interfere With Levothyroxine Uptake
In another study with important implications for thyroid patients who rely on levothyroxine, researchers at the University of Tulane in New Orleans found that the effectiveness of this popular thyroid medication may be reduced if it is taken along with a prescription drug commonly used in the treatment of kidney disease.
The drug, sevelamer hydrochloride, which is sold under the proprietary name Renegal, is used to help regulate phosphorus in patients with chronic kidney disease. The study found that when levothyroxine and sevelamer hydrochloride are taken simultaneously, the uptake of levothyroxine is often reduced significantly. However, preliminary results indicate that this effect may be eliminated if consumption of the two drugs is spaced over a period of several hours.
Study Finds that Summer Heat, High-Temperature Storage May Hinder Effectiveness of Thyroid Drugs
Even if you've followed your doctor's dosage instructions to the letter, you still may not be getting the full benefit of your prescription thyroid medications. According to a recent study, exposure to hot temperatures may eradicate some of the potency of the active ingredients in several common thyroid drugs.
According to the researchers, this problem may be particularly widespread during the scorching months of June, July, and August. Even in regions that don't reach extreme highs during the summertime, prescription medications may still be impacted. It was found that several commonly prescribed drugs begin to degrade at temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If one of your prescriptions is particularly sensitive to heat, it may be advisable to store it in the refrigerator or another cool, dry environment.
Check with your doctor to make sure your thyroid medications are safe and free from any potentially harmful interactions. And be sure to stop by each week for more of the thyroid healthy news that matters to you.
Note: The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for professional care. This site should not be used in place of professional medical advice. The author is not a physician. For medical emergencies, call 911!
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