WP Thyroid, also known as Natural Desiccated Thyroid, is a natural form of thyroid hormone.
It is made from porcine thyroid glands, which contain the more potent hormone T3 Liothyronine.
It is used in the treatment of several illnesses such as thyroid deficiency and cancer, to name a few.
To learn more about WP Thyroid, from its uses to its side effects – make sure to read on below:
How WP Thyroid Works
WP Thyroid’s primary active compound is T3 or triiodothyronine, and its onset occurs within three hours after intake.
It works by providing thyroid hormones, which are naturally created by the thyroid glands, that is if you do not suffer from hypothyroidism or other related maladies.
The said hormone is essential for numerous body mechanisms, as they help in cognition, protein and fat metabolism, gastrointestinal movement, gland secretion, growth and development, to name a few.
In cases where there are low levels of thyroid hormones, symptoms such as fatigue, headache, muscle aches, constipation, and depression, can occur.
Uses of WP Thyroid
WP Thyroid is prescribed to individuals with the following ailments:
- Most cases of hypothyroidism, such as primary hypothyroidism due to the absence or shrinkage of the thyroid gland, or such stemming from the effects of medication and surgery. Pituitary or Hypothalamic Hypothyroidism, as well as Pregnancy-related Hypothyroidism, Cretinism and Myxedema are indications for WP Thyroid use as well.
- Euthyroid Goiters cases, such as Multinodular Goiter, Thyroid Nodules, Subacute and Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s Disease
- Thyroid Cancer
- Infertility due to low thyroid hormone levels
WP Thyroid is also utilized as a diagnostic agent, especially in cases where suppression tests must be done to determine mild hyperthyroidism from normal thyroid gland anatomy.
Keep in mind that the use of WP Thyroid is CONTRAINDICATED in people suffering from untreated thyrotoxicosis, adrenal cortical insufficiency, and subacute hypothyroidism, which occurs following recovery from subacute thyroiditis.
Dosage of WP Thyroid
WP Thyroid tablets come in the following dosage forms in milligrams: 16.25, 32.5, 48.75, 65 (scored), 81.25, 97.5, 113.75, and 130 (scored.)
Hypothyroidism treatment usually starts at low dosages, primarily depending on your cardiovascular health.
The initial dose usually starts at 32.5 mg, however, those with heart problems are initiated at a lower dose of 16.25 mg per day.
The dosage can be increased with an additional 16.25 mg after two or three weeks.
Gradual increments can help you meet the maintenance dose of 65-130 mg per day, which should help you attain normal serum T3 and T4 levels.
For the treatment of patients with papillary or follicular cancer of the thyroid, doses exceeding those mentioned above are warranted in order to prevent further growth of the malignant mass.
In pediatric patients, dosage will depend on the child’s age and body weight.
Careful administration of WP Thyroid in infants is important as excessive doses can lead to craniosynostosis or the premature fusion of fibrous sutures, which then alters the growth of the baby’s skull.
With that being said, the proper treatment range for children, as recommended by the American Thyroid Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, are as follows:
||Dose (mg) per day
|0 – 6 months
||16.25 to 32.5
||32.5 to 48.75
||48.75 to 65
||65 to 97.5
|12 years and above
Dosage Pointers and Other Reminders
WP Thyroid tablets should be taken by mouth daily or at the frequency prescribed by the doctor.
The hormone is absorbed by the body through the gastrointestinal tract, therefore an empty stomach improves drug absorption.
For optimal results, it should be taken 30 minutes to an hour prior to eating.
Should you forget your dose, take WP Thyroid immediately once you remember it.
You should, however, skip the missed dose if the next dosage is almost due. For your safety’s sake, avoid double-dosing!
To maintain the potency of WP Thyroid tablets, they should be stored in light and moisture-resistant containers at temperatures ranging from 59 to 86 Fahrenheit or 15 to 30 Celsius.
Within four to eight weeks of therapy, the physician will require you to undergo a slew of laboratory exams, including serum T4 and TSH.
This will guide him in increasing or decreasing your dosage as necessary.
Ongoing monitoring is necessary throughout the course of WP Thyroid therapy; remember that you will be required to undergo thyroid blood testing six months after dose determination as well as a year thereafter.
Side Effects of WP Thyroid
As with any other medication, WP Thyroid comes with mild to severe side effects, such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, appetite changes and weight loss, sleep problems, and menstrual changes in women.
Take note that older people can be more sensitive to some side effects, such as irregular heartbeats and chest pain.
Children and adults alike can suffer from hair loss during the first few months of treatment, as this is one of the way your body adjusts with the drug.
It is usually temporary, however, if it persists, consult with your physician.
Since WP Thyroid replenishes the body with thyroid hormones, symptoms of increased thyroid levels can occur, although it is very unlikely.
However, you need to inform your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Tiredness or Shortness of breath
- Sensitivity to heat or increased sweating
- Mood swings or nervousness
Rare, life-threatening side effects can take place as well.
Should you experience irregular heartbeats, chest pain, seizures and swollen extremities, contact your physician right away.
A serious allergic reaction to WP Thyroid can also occur, again with the instances being very rare.
However, you need to inform your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Breathing difficulties
- Itchiness and swollenness of the throat, tongue, or face
- Itchiness and rashes in other parts of the body
Myxedema Coma, a rare form of severe hypothyroidism, can happen in patients who have systemic illnesses or have undergone iodine treatment, among other aggravating factors.
Symptoms includes low body temperature, psychiatric conditions (amnesia, depression, hallucination, disorientation), and uncoordinated movements of the extremities, to name a few.
Considered a medical emergency, Myxedema Coma symptoms should be referred to the physician right away.
WP Thyroid Interactions
WP Thyroid, like other medications, can interact with some of the drugs you are presently taking.
If you have diabetes, taking WP Thyroid can intensify your symptoms, as such as you need your physician to adjust your medication dosage accordingly.
In a 2014 study by Kalra, Unnikrishnan, and Sahay, it was determined that there is a need to increase anti-diabetic medication dosage for individuals with improving thyroid status, while those worsening (even with treatment) need a decrease in dosage.
Sensitivity to Anticoagulants or Blood Thinners such as Warfarin is increased in cases of Hypothyroidism.
If you are taking this drug, you will need to undergo Prothrombin time determinations so your doctor can properly adjust the dosage.
If you are taking Cholestyramine or Colestipol, you should take WP Thyroid four to five hours after as the aforementioned drug can impair hormone absorption.
Birth control pills and other medications containing Estrogen can reduce WP Thyroid hormone absorption as well, as such the latter’s dosage has to be increased if you decide to take contraceptives.
Since thyroid hormone is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, intake of antacids can decrease the body’s uptake of the former.
If you need to take antacids, ingest it four hours prior or after taking WP Thyroid.
Other drugs that can interact with WP Thyroid, and therefore should be used cautiously, include the following:
- Anesthetic agents i.e. Ketamine, Phenobarbital
- “Appetite” drugs/herbal medications
- Flu Medications
- Iron Supplements
- Multivitamins with Minerals
- Neuro-Psychiatric drugs i.e. Carbamazepine, Phenytoin
- Nutritional supplements i.e. Ensure
- Respiratory Aide Medications
- Salicylates i.e. Pepto-Bismol, Trilisate
- Soy Isoflavones
- Other Thyroid Medications
While you can eat all the food you want while undergoing WP Thyroid treatment, there are those which can decrease the absorption of the drug.
As such, consumption of dietary fiber, calcium-laden food and beverages, cotton seed meal, walnuts, and soybean flour should be avoided hours before and after drug intake to maintain its ideal therapeutic levels.
The same principle applies if you are having tube feedings, especially if the regimen has lasted for more than a week.
Tube feeding should be stopped an hour prior and after drug administration for the optimal absorption of WP Thyroid.
Things to Remember Before Taking WP Thyroid
Since WP Thyroid provides supplementation for low levels of thyroid hormones, it is imperative that you narrate your full medical history to the doctor before you take the drug.
Conditions that you have that you need to disclose include diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, thyrotoxicosis, or impaired adrenal gland functioning as they can affect drug activity in your body.
As it was mentioned, a rare allergic reaction can occur with the intake of WP Thyroid. As such, it is important that you tell your physician if you have existing allergies to pork or other products.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you can still take this medication for your thyroid condition. However, you should inform your doctor regarding your condition so he could fine-tune the dosage accordingly.
In most cases, some individuals need to be medicated with WP Thyroid for their entire life.
If you are one of these individuals, avoid shuffling from one brand name to another.
Most importantly, do NOT discontinue taking this medicine, even if you feel well, unless you were advised by your physician.
Controversies Surrounding WP Thyroid Use
Since thyroid drugs such as WP Thyroid can bring about anorexia or loss of appetite, it is being utilized, alongside other medications, in the treatment of obesity.
However, it is important to note that normal doses do not bring about weight loss, and increasing dosages can even result in life-threatening events.
In a 2009 study conducted by Kaptein, Beale, and Chan, results showed that “available data are inconclusive regarding effectiveness of thyroid hormone therapy in treating obesity.” It was also postulated that it only results in subclinical hyperthyroidism, with increased appetite possibly occurring as a mild symptom.
As such, it is deemed ineffective to utilize WP Thyroid for obesity or other conditions outside its intended use.
Breast Cancer Link
Another issue linked with thyroid hormone use is breast cancer.
The association between the two has not yet been confirmed, and the study made by Bogardus and Finley showed that thyroid function impairment indeed might affect the mammary gland to some degree.
The researchers, however, suggest that “a study of the phylogenetic relationship of hormone development to neoplasia” is further needed.
Sharing the same sentiment is Dr. Mallika Marshall of the Harvard Health Blog, who said that “the effect of thyroid hormone on breast cancer risk clearly requires further study.”
For now, Dr. Marshall advises women with overactive thyroid to communicate with their doctors and follow routine breast cancer screening recommendations.
There are some other controversies regarding the general use of natural desiccated thyroid treatments that we will talk about later.
WP Thyroid treats a handful of conditions, from Hypothyroidism to Thyroid Cancer.
While effective, the drug should be taken cautiously – so make sure to follow the pointers above to keep yourself safe throughout the course of therapy.
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Kalra, S., Unnikrishnan, A. G., & Sahay, R. (2014). The hypoglycemic side of hypothyroidism. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism,18(1), 1-3. Retrieved August 3, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968713/.
Kaptein, E. M., Beale, E., & Chan, L. S. (2009). Thyroid hormone therapy for obesity and nonthyroidal illnesses: a systematic review. J Clin Endocrinol Metab,94(10), 3663-3675. Retrieved August 3, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19737920.
Marshall, M. (2016, April 7). Thyroid disease and breast cancer: Is there a link? [Web log post]. Retrieved August 3, 2017, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-there-a-link-between-thyroid-disease-and-breast-cancer-risk-201604079407
Nowak, F. V. (2009, August 25). The Thyroid Gland: Function and Regulation. Retrieved August 3, 2017, from http://www.ohio.edu/people/witmerl/Downloads/2009-08-25_Nowak_Thyroid.pdf
Thyroid Basics. (n.d.). Nature Throid. Retrieved August 03, 2017, from https://thyroidbasics.com/nature-throid/
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