Cytomel
Alternatives

(Liothyronine)

Cytomel (Liothyronine)

Prescription only

Synthroid (Levothyroxine)

Prescription only
1 of 2 alternatives
Replaces thyroid hormones.

Cytomel (Liothyronine) is good for treating low thyroid, but you may need frequent blood tests and you should take it exactly as told by your doctor and pharmacist.

Replaces thyroid hormones.

Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is an important replacement hormone when your body can't make enough thyroid hormone. It's easily affected by food, other medicines or supplements, and health conditions, so you should try to take it exactly as instructed.

Upsides
  • Cytomel (Liothyronine) supplies an important hormone that your body needs to grow and develop.
  • Safe during pregnancy.
  • Available in generic.
  • Supplies an essential hormone that your body needs to function. Works well to improve symptoms of an underactive thyroid.
  • Safe to use for any age range and pregnant women.
  • Cheap.
Downsides
  • You may need frequent dose adjustments when you first start taking Cytomel (Liothyronine) or if your health changes.
  • Periodic blood tests are needed to make sure you're getting the right dose.
  • Cytomel (Liothyronine) supplies one type of thyroid hormone, which may not be right for everyone.
  • Cytomel (Liothyronine) has many food and drug interactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you make any changes or start a new medicine.
  • Absorption is easily affected by food and other medicines.
  • Not one-dose-fits-all: Dose adjustments are usually needed when starting the medicine and when your health changes.
  • Routine blood tests are needed at least yearly and more during dose adjustments, but it takes a long time to see full effect (6 to 8 weeks).
  • Different brands of Levothyroxine may not work the same. Ask your pharmacist if your refill looks different than your old pills. Synthroid is one of the few drugs where the brand really does work better than the generic for many people.
  • Lots of drug interactions, so check with your pharmacist before taking anything new.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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1090 
75%
think this treatment is worth it
62%
think this treatment works well
10%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
The Cytomel (Liothyronine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Synthroid (Levothyroxine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Heart problems

    Current heart disease

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Changes in blood sugar

    Diabetes

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Heart problems

    Current heart disease

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Bone effects

    Duration of treatment

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings