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Cytomel or Liothyronine

Liothyronine performs a similar role to Levothyroxine, the most popular thyroid drug. Whereas Levothyroxine is designed to imitate Thyroxine (T4), Liothyronine is a synthetic hormone used to replace the other thyroid hormone, Triiodothyronine (T3).

If your doctor prescribes you Liothyronine, be sure to read the accompanying leaflet and follow your doctor’s advice. However, here is some basic information on how to take it, how it works and possible side effects.

How does Liothyronine work?

Liothyronine is a form of Hormone Replacement Therapy. While you may associate that more with menopause, all it really means is topping up your body’s levels of a certain hormone when it is running low.

The hormone it is replacing, Triiodothyronine, is the more potent of the two thyroid hormones. Similarly to Thyroxine, it acts on your metabolic processes and influences your physical development. If you have Hypothyroidism, it can help prevent symptoms like low energy, fatigue or depression.

How do I take Liothyronine?

Typical starting dosage of Liothyronine is 5 to 25 mcg per day. Your doctor may also start you on a lower dose of Liothyronine to see how you react, before moving you on to a more appropriate dosage.

Liothyronine side effects

Side effects for Liothyronine include chest pain, palpitations, diarrhea, nausea and headaches.

Thyroid medicine may also make your other medications act differently. This is because the thyroid directly affects the way that your body breaks down chemicals. Typically, Hypothyroidism reduces the effect of drugs on your body.

If you are suffering from any side effects, it is always advisable to consult your doctor.

Liothyronine brand names

You might see this synthetic hormone replacement under a different name. It is known under the following brands:

General info on thyroid medicine

Alternatives to Liothyronine


Levothyroxine is a synthetic form of Thyroxine (T4), the thyroid hormone that controls your metabolic processes and influences physical development.


Liotrix is unique in that it contains synthetic versions of both the main thyroid hormones, T3 and T4.

Natural Thyroid

The thyroid hormone in these products is completely natural, and actually comes from pigs. Many patients prefer this to the idea of synthetic drugs.

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