Synthroid (Levothyroxine Sodium)
Synthroid is a popularly brand name for the drug levothyroxine sodium. Specifically this is a synthetically manufactured thyroid hormone, with the effect of the endogenous hormone thyroxine (T-4). Thyroid hormones are primarily responsible for regulating the body’s metabolic rate, and play an important role in determining one’s physical disposition. When thyroid preparations are administered, the metabolism is markedly stimulated. This is noted by the faster conversion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as the body utilizes more calories throughout the day. These hormones are used medically to treat cases of both thyroid dysfunction and obesity (due to a related deficiency).
The action of this drug is very similar to that of the popular thyroid preparation Cytomel. Cytomel is slightly different is structure however, being a synthetic triiodothyronine (T-3) hormone. A healthy individual with actually have sufficient levels of both T-3 and T-4 thyroid hormones present in the body. In comparison, T-3 has an effect roughly four times stronger than that of T-4 on a weight basis (most of T-4’s action actually comes from converting to T-3). This is clear when we look at the average tablet strength of both items, Cytomel produced in much smaller microgram amounts. Likewise the preparation Cytomel is a much stronger product than Synthroid, and is usually the preference should both items be available. Since Synthroid is much weaker, an athlete will generally expect to take the drug for a longer duration than Cytomel in order to achieve a similar result.
Thyroid hormones are among the most efficient cutting agents in the athlete’s drug arsenal. Administration should noticeably increase the rate in which the body breaks down fat stores, allowing more muscle definition to become visible. And since the body is utilizing more calories during treatment, the need for drastic dieting is greatly reduced. This is an added benefit during contest time, as muscle mass is often sacrificed when nutrients are severely deprived. Thyroid use will generally allow the athlete to burn off body fat while still consuming a comfortable level of calories each day. Anabolic steroids are generally used in conjunction with these hormones, as the metabolism boosting effect may result in faster muscle gains (increased protein utilization). This leads some to use thyroids during off-season bulk cycles, looking to obtain a greater muscle mass gain while accumulating less body fat than typically expected.
The dosage of this drug, as with all thyroid medications, must be built up slowly and evenly. An athlete will generally start with a low dosage of 25-100 mcg (1/4-1 100 mcg tablet) and slowly increase the amount 25-50 mcg each day or two. The final dosage should not exceed 200-400 mcg (2-4 100 mcg tablets). With thyroid medications you run the risk of permanently altering your metabolic functioning when administering too high a dose or continuing treating for too long a period. Cautious individuals will be sure not to use excessive amounts nor continue treatment for longer than 6 or 8 weeks. On the same note it is important to reduce your Synthroid dosage gradually at the end of your cycle, just as the dosage was built up in the beginning. Dropping the dosage by 25-50 mcg every second or third day should be an acceptably gradual withdrawal. This will give your body a chance to become more adjusted to the changing hormone level and avoid the “shock” that is possible when the drug is suddenly discontinued.
There are a number of side effects associated with Synthroid that a potential user should be aware of. These include, but are not limited to, trembling, excessive sweating, diarrhea, insomnia, nausea, elevated heart rate, inner unrest and weight loss. Mild occurrences of such side effects are usually eliminated by temporarily lowering the daily dosage. If the side effects are becoming uncomfortably pronounced, the drug of course should be discontinued. Again, abruptly stopping the drug may produce more unwelcome side effects; so tapering at this point is still recommended if possible. In an effort to avoid any severe problems, many athletes opt to first visit a doctor and have thyroid functions screened before committing to use. A previously unnoticed thyroid hyper function can prove very troublesome to someone administering this drug.
Although L-thyroxine is a widely manufactured drug, it is not a regular item on the black market. This is likely due to that fact that the stronger Cytomel or much weaker Triacana are usually preferred. If this item is found in circulation there should be little doubt about its legitimacy.