What is the difference between synthroid and levothyroxine

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Are you puzzled by the difference between synthroid and levothyroxine? Look no further! In a world where medication options can be overwhelming, understanding the nuances between these two thyroid treatments is crucial.

Synthroid and levothyroxine are both used to treat hypothyroidism, but there are key differences that may impact your health. Let us guide you through the essential details to help you make an informed decision about your thyroid medication.

Overview of Thyroid Medications

Overview of Thyroid Medications

Thyroid medications are used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Synthroid and levothyroxine are two commonly prescribed medications for this condition. Synthroid is a brand name for levothyroxine, which is a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Levothyroxine is also available as a generic medication. Thyroid medications work by supplementing the body’s natural thyroid hormone levels, helping to regulate metabolism and energy levels.

Overview of Thyroid Medications

Synthroid and Levothyroxine are two commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of hypothyroidism. They both contain the same active ingredient, which is synthetic thyroxine (T4). Thyroxine is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland that helps regulate metabolism and energy levels in the body.

Thyroid medication is typically used to supplement or replace the natural production of thyroid hormones in individuals with an underactive thyroid gland. This condition, known as hypothyroidism, can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and depression.

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Synthroid and Levothyroxine work by providing the body with the thyroxine it needs to maintain normal metabolic function. Both medications are available in tablet form and are usually taken once a day on an empty stomach.

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking thyroid medication to ensure that you are getting the right dose for your individual needs. Regular blood tests may be necessary to monitor your thyroid hormone levels and adjust your medication as needed.

Consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your thyroid medication or if you experience any side effects while taking Synthroid or Levothyroxine.

Active Ingredients in Synthroid and Levothyroxine

Synthroid contains levothyroxine sodium as its active ingredient. Levothyroxine sodium is a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4). It is chemically synthesized to mimic the hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Levothyroxine sodium is the primary active ingredient that helps regulate the body’s metabolism and energy levels.

Levothyroxine is the generic name for this synthetic hormone used in medications like Synthroid and other brands. It is considered the standard treatment for hypothyroidism and is widely prescribed by healthcare providers.

Levothyroxine is available in various strengths, allowing for personalized dosing based on individual patient needs. The potency of levothyroxine is measured in micrograms, and different dosage strengths are available to accommodate patients with different thyroid hormone requirements.

Levothyroxine is typically taken orally, and it is important to follow the prescribed dosing instructions provided by a healthcare provider. Consistent and proper use of levothyroxine can help maintain optimal thyroid hormone levels in the body and alleviate symptoms of hypothyroidism.

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Formulation and Dosage of Synthroid vs Levothyroxine

Synthroid and Levothyroxine are both synthetic thyroid hormone medications used to treat hypothyroidism, but they have different formulations and dosage options.


  • Synthroid is a brand-name drug that contains levothyroxine sodium as its active ingredient.
  • It comes in tablet form and is available in a variety of strengths, ranging from 25 mcg to 300 mcg.
  • The tablets are color-coded to indicate the different strengths, making it easier for patients to identify the correct dosage.
  • Patients typically take Synthroid once a day, preferably in the morning on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before eating.


  • Levothyroxine is the generic version of Synthroid and is also available in tablet form.
  • It is bioequivalent to Synthroid, meaning that it provides the same therapeutic effects as the brand-name drug.
  • Levothyroxine comes in similar strengths as Synthroid, ranging from 25 mcg to 300 mcg.
  • Patients may take levothyroxine once a day, following the same instructions for timing and administration as Synthroid.

It is essential for patients to follow their healthcare provider’s guidance on dosing and to take their medication consistently to ensure optimal thyroid function. Consult your doctor for personalized advice on the formulation and dosage of Synthroid vs Levothyroxine.

Effectiveness and Side Effects of Synthroid and Levothyroxine

When it comes to the effectiveness of Synthroid and Levothyroxine, both medications are used to treat hypothyroidism. Synthroid is a brand-name drug, while Levothyroxine is a generic version of the same medication. In terms of effectiveness, both drugs work by replacing the thyroid hormone that is normally produced by the thyroid gland.

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Side Effects of Synthroid and Levothyroxine

Side Effects of Synthroid and Levothyroxine

Like any medication, Synthroid and Levothyroxine can cause side effects. Some common side effects of these medications include:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Nervousness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

It’s important to note that these side effects are not exhaustive, and individuals may experience different reactions to these medications. If you experience any severe side effects or allergic reactions, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately.

Cost Comparison: Synthroid versus Levothyroxine

When it comes to the cost of thyroid medications, Synthroid and Levothyroxine can differ significantly. Synthroid, being a brand-name drug, is generally more expensive compared to Levothyroxine, which is a generic version.


The cost of Synthroid can vary depending on the dosage and the pharmacy you purchase it from. Without insurance, a one-month supply of Synthroid can range from $40 to $60 for a 30-day supply. However, with insurance coverage, the out-of-pocket cost can be significantly lower.


On the other hand, Levothyroxine is typically more affordable compared to Synthroid. The generic version of the medication can cost as low as $4 for a 30-day supply at certain pharmacies, making it a more cost-effective option for those looking to save money on their thyroid medication.

In conclusion, when considering the cost of thyroid medications, Levothyroxine is a more budget-friendly option compared to Synthroid, especially for those without insurance coverage or looking to save on prescription costs.