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LEVOXYL® (levothyroxine sodium) Drug Interactions

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

7.1 Drugs Known to Affect Thyroid Hormone Pharmacokinetics

Many drugs can exert effects on thyroid hormone pharmacokinetics (e.g., absorption, synthesis, secretion, catabolism, protein binding, and target tissue response) and may alter the therapeutic response to LEVOXYL (see Tables 2 – 5).

Table 2: Drugs That May Decrease T4 Absorption (Hypothyroidism)
Potential impact: Concurrent use may reduce the efficacy of LEVOXYL by binding and delaying or preventing absorption, potentially resulting in hypothyroidism.
Drug or Drug Class Effect
Calcium Carbonate
Ferrous Sulfate
Calcium carbonate may form an insoluble chelate with levothyroxine, and ferrous sulfate likely forms a ferric-thyroxine complex. Administer LEVOXYL at least 4 hours apart from these agents.
Orlistat Monitor patients treated concomitantly with orlistat and LEVOXYL for changes in thyroid function.
Bile Acid Sequestrants
-Colesevelam
-Cholestyramine
-Colestipol
Ion Exchange Resins
-Kayexalate
-Sevelamer
Bile acid sequestrants and ion exchange resins are known to decrease levothyroxine absorption. Administer LEVOXYL at least 4 hours prior to these drugs or monitor thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.
Other drugs:
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Sucralfate
Antacids
- Aluminum & Magnesium Hydroxides
- Simethicone
Gastric acidity is an essential requirement for adequate absorption of levothyroxine. Sucralfate, antacids and proton pump inhibitors may cause hypochlorhydria, affect intragastric pH, and reduce levothyroxine absorption. Monitor patients appropriately.
Table 3: Drugs That May Alter Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) Serum Transport Without Affecting Free Thyroxine (FT4) Concentration (Euthyroidism)
Drug or Drug Class Effect
Clofibrate
Estrogen-containing Oral Contraceptives
Estrogens (oral)
Heroin/Methadone
5-Fluorouracil
Mitotane
Tamoxifen
These drugs may increase serum thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) concentration.
Androgens / Anabolic Steroids
Asparaginase
Glucocorticoids
Slow-Release Nicotinic Acid
These drugs may decrease serum TBG concentration.
Potential impact (below): Administration of these agents with LEVOXYL results in an initial transient increase in FT4. Continued administration results in a decrease in serum T4 and normal FT4 and TSH concentrations.
Salicylates (>2 g/day) Salicylates inhibit binding of T4 and T3 to TBG and transthyretin. An initial increase in serum FT4 is followed by return of FT4 to normal levels with sustained therapeutic serum salicylate concentrations, although total T4 levels may decrease by as much as 30%.
Other drugs:
Carbamazepine
Furosemide (>80 mg IV)
Heparin
Hydantoins
Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs - Fenamates
These drugs may cause protein binding site displacement. Furosemide has been shown to inhibit the protein binding of T4 to TBG and albumin, causing an increased free-T4 fraction in serum. Furosemide competes for T4-binding sites on TBG, prealbumin, and albumin, so that a single high dose can acutely lower the total T4 level. Phenytoin and carbamazepine reduce serum protein binding of levothyroxine, and total and FT4 may be reduced by 20% to 40%, but most patients have normal serum TSH levels and are clinically euthyroid. Closely monitor thyroid hormone parameters.
Table 4: Drugs That May Alter Hepatic Metabolism of T4 (Hypothyroidism)
Potential impact: Stimulation of hepatic microsomal drug-metabolizing enzyme activity may cause increased hepatic degradation of levothyroxine, resulting in increased LEVOXYL requirements.
Drug or Drug Class Effect
Phenobarbital
Rifampin
Phenobarbital has been shown to reduce the response to thyroxine. Phenobarbital increases L-thyroxine metabolism by inducing uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) and leads to a lower T4 serum levels. Changes in thyroid status may occur if barbiturates are added or withdrawn from patients being treated for hypothyroidism. Rifampin has been shown to accelerate the metabolism of levothyroxine.
Table 5: Drugs That May Decrease Conversion of T4 to T3
Potential impact: Administration of these enzyme inhibitors decreases the peripheral conversion of T4 to T3, leading to decreased T3 levels. However, serum T4 levels are usually normal but may occasionally be slightly increased.
Drug or Drug Class Effect
Beta-adrenergic antagonists
(e.g., Propranolol >160 mg/day)
In patients treated with large doses of propranolol (>160 mg/day), T3 and T4 levels change slightly, TSH levels remain normal, and patients are clinically euthyroid. It should be noted that actions of particular beta-adrenergic antagonists may be impaired when the hypothyroid patient is converted to the euthyroid state.
Glucocorticoids (e.g., Dexamethasone ≥4 mg/day) Short-term administration of large doses of glucocorticoids may decrease serum T3 concentrations by 30% with minimal change in serum T4 levels. However, long-term glucocorticoid therapy may result in slightly decreased T3 and T4 levels due to decreased TBG production (see above).
Other:
Amiodarone)
Amiodarone inhibits peripheral conversion of levothyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) and may cause isolated biochemical changes (increase in serum free-T4, and decreased or normal free-T3) in clinically euthyroid patients.

7.2 Antidiabetic Therapy

Addition of LEVOXYL therapy in patients with diabetes mellitus may worsen glycemic control and result in increased antidiabetic agent or insulin requirements. Carefully monitor glycemic control, especially when LEVOXYL is started, changed, or discontinued [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

7.3 Oral Anticoagulants

LEVOXYL increases the response to oral anticoagulant therapy. Therefore, a decrease in the dose of anticoagulant may be warranted with correction of the hypothyroid state or when the LEVOXYL dose is increased. Closely monitor coagulation tests to permit appropriate and timely dosage adjustments.

7.4 Digitalis Glycosides

LEVOXYL may reduce the therapeutic effects of digitalis glycosides. Serum digitalis glycoside levels may be decreased when a hypothyroid patient becomes euthyroid, necessitating an increase in the dose of digitalis glycosides.

7.5 Antidepressant Therapy

Concurrent use of tricyclic (e.g., amitriptyline) or tetracyclic (e.g., maprotiline) antidepressants and LEVOXYL may increase the therapeutic and toxic effects of both drugs, possibly due to increased receptor sensitivity to catecholamines. Toxic effects may include increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias and central nervous system stimulation. LEVOXYL may accelerate the onset of action of tricyclics. Administration of sertraline in patients stabilized on LEVOXYL may result in increased LEVOXYL requirements.

7.6 Ketamine

Concurrent use of ketamine and LEVOXYL may produce marked hypertension and tachycardia. Closely monitor blood pressure and heart rate in these patients.

7.7 Sympathomimetics

Concurrent use of sympathomimetics and LEVOXYL may increase the effects of sympathomimetics or thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones may increase the risk of coronary insufficiency when sympathomimetic agents are administered to patients with coronary artery disease.

7.8 Tyrosine-Kinase Inhibitors

Concurrent use of tyrosine-kinase inhibitors such as imatinib may cause hypothyroidism. Closely monitor TSH levels in such patients.

7.9 Drug-Food Interactions

Consumption of certain foods may affect LEVOXYL absorption thereby necessitating adjustments in dosing [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)]. Soybean flour (infant formula), cotton seed meal, walnuts, and dietary fiber may bind and decrease the absorption of LEVOXYL from the GI tract. Grapefruit juice may delay the absorption of levothyroxine and reduce its bioavailability.

7.10 Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions

Consider changes in TBG concentration when interpreting T4 and T3 values. Measure and evaluate unbound (free) hormone and/or determine the free T4 index (FT4I) in this circumstance. Pregnancy, infectious hepatitis, estrogens, estrogen-containing oral contraceptives, and acute intermittent porphyria increase TBG concentrations. Nephrosis, severe hypoproteinemia, severe liver disease, acromegaly, androgens, and corticosteroids decrease TBG concentration. Familial hyper- or hypo-thyroxine-binding globulinemias have been described, with the incidence of TBG deficiency approximating 1 in 9000.

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