Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough T3 and T4 hormones for the body to function properly. There are a few conditions and circumstances that can cause hypothyroidism; it tends to run in families and generally affects women more than men. The following conditions can cause hypothyroidism:
- Hashimoto’s, an immune condition in which the body mistakenly attacks and causes damage to the thyroid gland.
- Radiation treatments
- Down’s Syndrome
- Surgical removal of the thyroid
What are the Symptoms?
Since patients with hypothyroidism are unable to produce adequate levels of T3 or T4 (or both), they need to take synthetic hormones to keep symptoms at bay. Without medication, patients risk developing several adverse symptoms, including:
- Unexpected or unexplained weight gain
- Fatigue and low energy levels
- Dry skin
- Sensitivity to cold
- Swollen or puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Joint pain or stiffness
Hypothyroidism can also affect the heart by slowing the heart rate down. It also impairs the body’s ability to effectively metabolize cholesterol, which may increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Hypothyroidism also impacts the brain and can lead to difficulty concentrating and memory loss.
How are symptoms treated?
Hypothyroidism is typically diagnosed with blood tests at regular intervals to measure the level of thyroid hormones in the body. If the condition persists for longer than a few months, treatment with medication is often recommended.
An oral medication called levothyroxine, a synthetic form of thyroid hormone, is the standard recommended treatment for hypothyroidism. The amount of levothyroxine needed varies from patient to patient, and it’s important to receive the correct amount of this medication since too little levothyroxine won’t sufficiently control hypothyroidism and too much will lead to side effects including increased appetite, sleeplessness, shakiness, and heart palpitations.
Acella Pharmaceuticals recently recalled certain lots of its hypothyroid medication, NP Thyroid, after FDA testing revealed them to be “sub-potent,” containing less medication than the amount reflected on the label. For example, some lots were found to contain as little as 87 percent of the labeled amount of levothyroxine.
What to do If You Have Been Injured after taking NP Thyroid
If you or someone you know has taken Acella’s NP Thyroid®, please review the detailed information about the recalled lots found here to see if you/they may have received any of the now recalled medications. If so and you suffered a serious injury as a result, you can also call our Georgia drug injury attorneys for a free consultation at 1-800-641-0098 or head to our CSS contact us page.