The popular thyroid medication Levothroid has been linked to a high risk of fractures in elderly patients. Healthcare professionals recommend that individuals over 70 who take thyroid medications undergo regular checkups and thyroid blood tests to monitor dosage and prevent over treatment of thyroid conditions.
Free Levothroid Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious bone fracture or other adverse event you feel may have been caused by Levothroid, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
What is Levothroid?
Marketed and manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals, Levothroid (levothyroxine sodium) is a prescription medication typically used in the treatment of hypothyroidism, a condition characterized by deficient activity of the thyroid gland. The drug is designed to replace thyroid hormones by regulating the body’s normal energy and metabolism levels. Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include (but are not limited to):
- droopy eyelids
- slowed speech
- swelled facial features
- weight gain
- dry skin
- hair loss
- heart failure
Levothroid helps reverse these symptoms when body functions slow down in hypothyroid patients. Levothyroxine sodium has also been prescribed less frequently to treat congenital hypothyroidism and goiter. Unfortunately, Levothroid has been associated with a high risk of bone fractures in patients age 70 and over.
Levothroid Bone Fractures
An April 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that medications containing levothyroxine may raise the risk of bone fractures significantly among some elderly patients. Researchers observed approximately 213,000 patients over the age of 70 who took thyroid drugs containing levothyroxine and found that more than 22,000 (app. 18,000 of which were women) suffered a bone fracture during that time. They determined users had a nearly 90% increased risk of bone fracture over patients from a control group who took no such medications. The data appear to indicate that the fracture risk is dose-specific. According to the research, patients who took medium and high doses were at a significantly higher risk of bone fractures than those who took low doses. According to the BMJ study’s conclusions:
“Among adults aged 70 or more, current levothyroxine treatment was associated with a significantly increased risk of fracture, with a strong dose-response relation. Ongoing monitoring of levothyroxine dose is important to avoid overtreatment in this population.”
In 2003, the FDA sent a warning letter to Forest informing the drugmaker that it must immediately halt the manufacturing of Levothroid because the company failed to obtain approval for the drug. Thyroid drugs containing levothyroxine were sold for years without being approved, but in 2001 the FDA ordered all drug manufacturers selling the medications to apply for approval by August 14, 2003. According to the FDA warning letter, Forest failed to submit the application in a timely manner. Forest subsequently suspended shipments shortly afterwards.
Do You have a Levothroid Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Levothroid lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new bone fracture cases in all 50 states.