Levothyroxine is a thyroid hormone used to treat hypothyroidism. It is also indicated in a block-replacement regimen in hyperthyroidism and suppressive regimen in thyroid cancer and euthyroid goitre.1, 2

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Recognise when compounding to meet specific patient requirements is necessary, and what precautions need to be taken by pharmacists in undertaking this task
  • Explain how to prepare levothyroxine sodium oral liquid extemporaneously, including the components, methods of preparation, packaging, storage and labelling
  • Counsel patients/carers on the appropriate use and precautions for levothyroxine sodium oral suspension.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.2, 3.1, 3.4

Accreditation number: CAP1910COMAH

Hypothyroidism is the clinical syndrome resulting from deficiency of thyroid hormones. Diagnosis may be confirmed by a raised thyroidstimulating hormone (TSH) value and a low free thyroxine (T4) or triiodothyronine (T3) concentration.1

The Therapeutic Guidelines provide advice for interpreting thyroid function results,3 since the measured T4, T3 and TSH concentrations often fall outside their normal reference ranges in critical illness.3 The absorption of levothyroxine can be irregular, with slow response to changes in dosage and achievement of peak therapeutic effect. Effects may also persist for several weeks after withdrawal.1

Test your knowledge on this article’s assessment questions here to earn up to 1.5 Group 2 CPD credits.