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    Old 05-22-2006, 06:41 AM   #1
    zosolizard
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    Red face Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    My endo wants me to start on 1/2 tab of synthroid now. But after reading posts, I'm now afraid of taking it.

    It doesn't help that I'm already paranoid when it comes to drugs (due to allergies, interactions, etc) The past year of having all of these symptoms has created a bit of health anxiety too - I honestly have thought I was dying many, many times.

    I was even given Xanax by my doctor last summer, which I take on a regular basis (mainly due to heart palps & other things freaking me out so badly)

    Has anyone dealt with this kind of problem, or can anyone just offer some words of comfort, or advice on how to deal with this ?

    Thanks very much

     
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    Old 05-22-2006, 08:10 AM   #2
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Synthroid is a synthetic version of thyroxine (T4), the thyroid hormone your body makes. Your body then converts some of it to triiodothyronine (T3). It is not a "drug" like some others. You MUST have a proper amount of T4 for your body to work. If you had NONE, you would eventually die. So you need to take it.

    How much are you taking? 1/2 tablet of which strength? 25,50,75,88 etc.
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    TT 1/26/06 -Levothyroxine 75-88

     
    Old 05-22-2006, 08:20 AM   #3
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Hi Zoso,

    I am very sensitive to meds in general as well & have had a number of adverse drug reactions, due to some sort of metabolic glitch. (Seems to be genetic; others in my family have had similar experiences.) Even though I knew that thyroid hormone was in a different class than most pharmaceuticals -- that the T4 drug is a replica of what my body used to make more of, I was scared. Worried I would have a heart attack, or a stroke.

    I was first prescribed a dose of 50 mcg. Synthroid, a common starting dose. The first thing I learned was that *temporary* side effects are more common when people are started on higher doses -- like 125 mcg. The second thing I learned was, people who are elderly, and people who are very severely hypoT, esp. if they have been that way for a long time, can take longer to adjust to meds. I did not have the complications of advanced age or especially severe hypoT, so those were encouraging factors.

    I learned that in the elderly & severely hypoT, T4 med doses are typically started low & gradually increased over a period of time, until the target dose is reached. So I did the same thing. I started taking 1/4 of my 50 mcg. tablet per day. I didn't notice any effect. After a few days, I was brave enough to take a 1/2 tablet. Well, I did notice one skipped heart beat on each of the first two days I did that. Not enough to be of concern, and it didn't recur on the following days. Then I increased to 3/4 tablet, and finally, whole prescribed 50 mcg dose. I took 2 weeks to build up to that dose. But by going slowly, I was confident that I was not harming my body, and my anxiety was reduced.

    My first few days on the full prescribed dose were wonderful! It wasn't until I reached that amt that I had significant relief of symptoms. Perhaps my body had rec'd some benefit from the lesser amts, but I really FELT the difference at the full dose.

    It was a comfort to me to know that if I did have an acute reaction like rapid heart beat & anxiety (not common, but it can happen) my doc would check me out & prescribe a beta-blocker if it was serious.

    I've been on T4 meds for over a yr, with a dose increase to 75 mcg. The worst reaction I've suffered was a rash & itching on the higher-dose Synthroid, which was believed to have been a dye allergy reaction. It went away when I switched to a different brand without dye in it.

    Now, I am a smarty pants, NOT a "good patient," and I did not check in with my doc to ask permission to slowly increase the dose up to what was prescribed. It probably makes sense to phone the office & do that ...

    Best wishes.

     
    Old 05-22-2006, 08:28 AM   #4
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write & make me feel better about it.

    I am supposed to start taking 1/2 of a .05 mg. tablet, and then after 1 week, take the full tab.

    Doc wants me to call after 2 weeks to discuss how I'm doing, etc. She also wants to make sure my condition (hypoT) is not "Transitory"..... she didn't go into detail about that.

    I decided to pick up a copy of my bloodwork today at lunchtime so I can see what my T3, T4 and other results are. The only thing I was given was the TSH (which was 27).

    I'll def. post those numbers later so I can get more of your expertise.

    Again - thanks very much, you guys! I appreciate it.

     
    Old 05-22-2006, 09:52 AM   #5
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    hiya zoso lizard you are describing me!!!!
    i had pannic attacks high anxiety etc an i suffered a breakdown due to stress!!!!!
    i have 3 children so i need to be on form !
    yes you put aname to something that has happened to us due to getting this complicated illness, also it always worringing taking stuff that does weird stuffto our hearts but youre right ima doyuble pannicer like you lol also i couldnt tolerate my meds and ive had a little bit of stopping and starting on the stuff!!! it made me have palps and that was a really low dose and i tried having a qaurter etc and working up but it sent me more hypo???? i have to wait for next bloods and go from there has any one come offthere meds?????lots of love from kat pursxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx i.s.h.t. !!!!!!!!

     
    Old 05-22-2006, 10:41 AM   #6
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    zosolizard, there's a good chance your heart palps and anxiety are from being hypothyroid. Mine were. Years ago when I was first diagnosed I was getting frequent anxiety attacks. I was also anxious about taking any kind of medicine (no asprin even!) and was pretty certain Synthroid was "bad"

    Well the first week I was on meds was rough, but it wasn't the synthroid itself.. it was me getting anxious and triggering panic attacks. The synthroid did nothing, but my mind did. You take your meds and you live on here if you have to, but take them. I would be willing to bet sometime down the road your anxiety and heart palps will diminish.

    BTW, as of Friday my TSH is 23.47 and I have heart palps again too. This time though it's not freaking me out. It's a symptom, like hair falling out, cold hands, etc. And I can handle it this time. You can do. I imagine since you're already on anxiety meds you've had your heart checked out by the Dr right? So don't be afraid. It'll get better.

     
    Old 05-22-2006, 10:46 AM   #7
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Sorry, I missed the allergies part - I think the 50's are white - no color added? With allergies, be sure to check what the fillers are, just in case. Then you will know what you are taking.

    Elmhar makes sense in working up the dosage - like he said, call your doc and see if you can do that since you are sensative to things.

    Take care.
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    Old 05-22-2006, 12:42 PM   #8
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    zosolizard-the people who have posted here offer some excellent advise. You truly will get worse if you don't start taking thyroid replacement hormones to correct what your own thyroid is not producing. I had some very bad heart palps., high pulse rate, etc. just a few months ago I think due to a change in my thyroid meds. I went to the hospital emergency room because I felt so bad and was so scared by it. But it turned out just fine. My endo switched my meds to something that is better for me and I am just fine. However the anxiety that I allowed myself to create because of the heart palps. did not make that episode any better, it only caused my heart rate to go up and make the whole situation worse. Know what they gave me at the hospital? Ativan! A anti-anxiety drug in the very same drug classification as the Xanax you take, it calmed me down which helped to bring my heart rate back to normal. It worked like a charm! I felt much better in just a few hours. They sent me home after my heart rate went down with enough Ativan for the next 24 hours. By then the doc had changed my thyroid meds. and I was well on my way back to normal. It's very scary to take meds you are not familiar with. Your fears are perfectly normal, many of us here have experienced what you are feeling. If for some very unusual reason you should have an adverse reaction to the synthroid, it is likely that it can be corrected fairly simply. The advise to start slow and build up is very good, but your body really needs the thyroid hormone that your doctor is prescribing. You will feel much better with it, than without it. Best of luck to you. And keep up posted to your progress, we are all rooting for you!

    Last edited by Red Maple; 05-22-2006 at 01:10 PM.

     
    Old 05-22-2006, 01:08 PM   #9
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    I have health anxiety also - thought I had ms, tourette's, diabetes, and thought I was dying several times. When I found the goiter on my neck, I was sure it was a tumor and I was going to die... it's just natural for me to have that type of catastrophic thinking; however, I'm always wrong. Turns out, even as bad as having Hashimoto's is I won't die from it. It is annoying and I hate the side effects from the drugs, but I was started on a high dose -125 mcg. I'm trying to grin and bear it through these first few weeks because I hear it gets better.

    Good luck to you, and something good to remember is feelings are not facts. And it's best to not be afraid of them.

     
    Old 05-22-2006, 02:12 PM   #10
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    hi zoso...that is a good way to start to take your pills and you should be fine...please let us know how you are doing...

     
    Old 05-23-2006, 06:06 AM   #11
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Thanks so much everyone! Each and every response really made me feel better here.

    I chickened out of taking the synthroid this a.m. - mainly because I'm 'home alone' right now, but my partner will be back tomorrow. So I will start the meds then.

    Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!

     
    Old 05-24-2006, 08:20 AM   #12
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zosolizard
    Thanks so much everyone! Each and every response really made me feel better here.

    I chickened out of taking the synthroid this a.m. - mainly because I'm 'home alone' right now, but my partner will be back tomorrow. So I will start the meds then.

    Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!
    zosolizard what do you mean are you going to take half in the morn and hqlf at t time? im really scared to take my levo as i had heart palps soi i stopped now i have to start again the doc said ! do you think starting on half for the first week then whole tab the week after? and wat are the carmers your doc gives to you ?????? please post bac im so scared also i do get given diazepam but im not sure i should use this all the time with levo maybe a beta bloka???? lots of love from katpursxxxxxxxxxx i.s.h.t. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !

     
    Old 05-24-2006, 10:51 AM   #13
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Hi katpurs,

    I am going to take 1/2 synthroid tab every morning, and then after 1 week, I am supposed to take 1 full tab every morning.

    I have heart palps every day for the past year anyway - so I guess it prob. can't get much worse!

    I personally want to stay away from Beta Blockers! Those scare the heck out of me - and my resting HR and BP are both quite low to begin with.

    I was brave & took 1/4 of my synthroid tab this a.m. & don't feel any different. So - I guess I'm okay so far.

     
    Old 05-24-2006, 12:44 PM   #14
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zosolizard
    Hi katpurs,

    I am going to take 1/2 synthroid tab every morning, and then after 1 week, I am supposed to take 1 full tab every morning.

    I have heart palps every day for the past year anyway - so I guess it prob. can't get much worse!

    I personally want to stay away from Beta Blockers! Those scare the heck out of me - and my resting HR and BP are both quite low to begin with.

    I was brave & took 1/4 of my synthroid tab this a.m. & don't feel any different. So - I guess I'm okay so far.
    hi zoso i tried doing that i mean a quarter and i felt worse ! i started on 25 jevo incidently is that the same as your synthroid! the 25 was to much so i knocked it down and had to come offit is that wat happened to you !! i tried takin a quarter and i felt worse a week ago and iv really had enough of allthe messing around!!!!!! but if youre goung to brave and you also get palps then i might try half for a week then get up to the full amount!!! by the way wat calmers did you say you were on and wat are they called in the uk?? i think the chopping and changing has defo made my disease worse is yours hashis sorry about all the qeustions sweetie !!!.
    my doc didnt tell me i had underactive thyroid for 3 years thats why it may take time to adjust lots of love to you zoso and good luck from katpurs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx i.s.h.t. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
    Old 05-24-2006, 01:16 PM   #15
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    Re: Afraid of taking meds after reading posts & stuff....

    Hi Kat...

    Sorry I didn't answer your question before. I have Xanax to calm me down, though I am not sure if they are called something else in the UK ?? But I do know its similar to Ativan, Valium, etc. "Benzo" family medications.

    I asked my pharmacist if it was okay to take my Xanax while taking Synthroid, and she said yes.

    Today was the first time I ever took Synthroid! I was just diagnosed as hypo about a week ago, but have more tests scheduled to see if I am Hashi's, or if there are any other issues (I.e., pitutary,).

    I've had symptoms for years, but my TSH always came back normal & I never knew enough about thyroid to push the issue. But this last time, my TSH came back very abnormal - so that is how we finally knew.

    I have just had problems with other medications over the past year or so, and that is why I was so afraid to try another new drug. I even tried an antidepressant for a few days & felt so awful on it!!

    Anyway - I hope things go okay for you!! Hugs back to you! Julie

     
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