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  • Terrible edema on Levothyroxine

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    Old 10-26-2017, 10:47 AM   #1
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    Question Terrible edema on Levothyroxine

    Hi, everyone. I've been on Levothyroxine & Liothyronine (generic Cytomel (T3)) since Oct. 2013. For the longest time, I didn't seem to have any issues with either med. Over the past year, I've been noting that I have HORRIBLE pitting edema, especially in my lower legs, and it just kept getting worse & worse & worse!

    My doc didn't seem too upset or impressed by it but it bothers me greatly. Not only do I have so much swelling that my socks cut into my legs all day, but it's actually making my legs HURT.

    Since my doc didn't seem to want to help, I took it upon myself to "play around" with my meds. I stopped the T3 for a time and it didn't make any difference in the swelling. Started back on both for several weeks and then I stopped taking the Levothyroxine. It didn't take but 3 or 4 days without the Levo & I started seeing a daily reduction in the swelling I was having. I've been without the Levo and taking JUST the T3 for about 2 months now and I have absolutely NO swelling. Trouble is, I'm thinking the T3-only regimen is now not enough med for me because I've been noting the return of some of my symptoms.

    Has anyone else experienced swelling when taking Levothyroxine? Why would I suddenly start having this problem after so many years? Is it possible to get proper thyroid management on T3 alone?

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    Old 10-26-2017, 01:23 PM   #2
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    Re: Terrible edema on Levothyroxine

    I've never had that happen but that doesn't mean you aren't. My first thought is that you might be allergic to one of the fillers used in your levoT. I'd ask a pharmacist for advice and see if you can get an Rx for another brand or generic. There is an expensive brand name sold as Tirosint, that contains no fillers. I'd come clean with the MD and tell him what you did and why you'd like a switch.

    That said, I'm really stunned a doctor would blow off significant pitting leg edema without investigating further. There are other causes that should be ruled out imho. Is this a GP or an endo? Maybe time to switch doctors.

    I can't comment much on T3 only treatment. I'd think it would work in theory but monitoring levels because of it's short period of action and avoiding the more serious side effects of excess T3 might be hard. That's something you should discuss with your doctor.

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    edema, levothyroxine, liothyronine

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