Q:

What happens if I stop taking levothyroxine?

A:

Quick Answer

Stopping levothyroxine without a doctor's approval may lead to unwanted effects, including blood pressure problems, low body temperature, fatigue, depression and memory loss, according to About.com. High cholesterol, weight gain, sexual problems, constipation and hair loss may also result.

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Full Answer

Patients who inappropriately stop taking levothyroxine may also experience muscle pain and weakness and an increased risk for infection and heart disease, according to About.com. Women may experience menstrual irregularities, infertility, stillbirth, premature labor and miscarriage. Patients with a history of thyroid cancer increase their risk of recurrence if they stop taking levothyroxine.

Levothyroxine is a thyroid hormone that treats hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, notes MedlinePlus. Patients who need levothyroxine and stop taking it experience unwanted symptoms because their bodies lack the appropriate amount of thyroid hormone.

Two common reasons that patients are compelled to stop their levothyroxine are because they do not feel differently or they are experiencing side effects, states About.com. Thyroid medication sometimes takes weeks or months to work well enough to notice a difference. If side effects are bothersome, it is best to talk to a doctor. In either case, sometimes a dosage change or a change in the medication is necessary to resolve the problem.

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