What is thyroid desiccated?

Thyroid hormones are produced naturally in the body by the thyroid gland. They are important for maintaining normal energy and metabolism.

For a variety of reasons, the body may not produce enough thyroid hormone on its own. In these cases, medication is taken to replace the body’s natural thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are also used to prevent and treat goiter (growth or enlargement of the thyroid gland) and along with surgery and radiation therapy in the treatment of certain thyroid cancers.

Thyroid may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


Before taking thyroid, tell your doctor if you have

  • hormonal problems;
  • heart disease such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, or angina; or
  • diabetes.

You may require special monitoring during treatment with thyroid if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Thyroid is in the FDA pregnancy category A. This means that thyroid is safe for use during pregnancy.

Thyroid is safe to take if you are breast-feeding a baby. The drug does pass into breast milk, but it has not been shown to be harmful to a nursing infant.

There are no restrictions on foods, beverages, or activities during treatment with a thyroid unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

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Seek emergency medical treatment if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of an overdose of thyroid include chest pain, nervousness, trouble sleeping, tremor, rapid heartbeat, nausea, headache, fever, sweating, shortness of breath, heat intolerance, irregular menses, increased appetite, decreased weight, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

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Side effects

If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious side effects, stop taking thyroid and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • vomiting; or
  • chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or shortness of breath.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take thyroid and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • tremor, nervousness, or irritability;
  • headache;
  • insomnia;
  • diarrhea, changes in appetite, or weight loss;
  • leg cramps;
  • menstrual irregularities; or
  • fever, sweating, or heat sensitivity.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Before taking a thyroid, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • an antacid that contains aluminum or calcium or sucralfate (Carafate) (these medications should be taken at least 4 hours apart from thyroid hormones);
  • cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid) (these medications should be taken at least 4 hours apart from thyroid hormones);
  • an iron supplement and vitamins with iron (these should be taken at least 4 hours apart from thyroid hormones);
  • warfarin (Coumadin);
  • insulin or an oral diabetes medication such as acarbose (Precose), glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase), metformin (Glucophage), and others;
  • an estrogen replacement product such as Premarin, Estrace, Estratab, Ogen, Climara, Fempatch, and others;
  • birth control pills; or
  • a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), and others.

You may require a dosage adjustment, special dosing instructions such as not taking certain medicines at the same time as thyroid hormones, or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Many drugs can interact with thyroid or can be affected by your condition. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Other Names

Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid, Westhroid, and thyroid desiccated

Available Strengths & Dosages

Route Form Strength
oral tablet 15 mg
oral tablet 30 mg
oral tablet 60 mg
oral tablet 90 mg
oral tablet 120 mg
oral tablet 180 mg
oral tablet 240 mg
oral tablet 300 mg

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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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