NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- (NYSE: ABBV) - Emmy-nominated actress Sofia Vergara is helping to raise awareness about the importance of diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism, a thyroid condition that affects millions of Americans, through a new campaign called "Follow the Script." The campaign, made possible by AbbVie, aims to educate individuals with hypothyroidism about the importance of being consistent with the treatment their doctor prescribes, and provides a "script" to ensure they consistently receive the medication prescribed by their doctor when they visit the pharmacy.
"In 2000, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had to have my thyroid removed. As a result, I have a hypothyroid condition and need to take medicine to treat it," said Vergara. "In my career, I'm known to ad lib and go off-script-but not when it comes to my health. I make sure to 'Follow the Script' so I get exactly what my doctor prescribed. This is so important to me, because you can't enjoy what you have without your health."
To help increase awareness about hypothyroidism, connect with the hypothyroidism community, and encourage others to take an active role in their health, Sofia shares her story at www.followthescriptcampaign.com. The "Follow the Script" website also features interactive polls, symptom and treatment information, helpful 'scripts' for speaking with your doctor and pharmacist, as well as stories and videos from other individuals with hypothyroidism. Visitors can also share their own experiences and learn how to become involved as a Synthroid® (levothyroxine sodium tablets, USP) patient volunteer.
"AbbVie is proud to work with Sofia Vergara and support this education campaign," said Maria Rivas, M.D., Vice President of Global Medical Affairs at AbbVie, the makers of Synthroid. "Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that can be managed with the right tools and information. The hope and aim of this campaign is to increase awareness about hypothyroidism and empower patients to engage in dialogue and work with their healthcare providers throughout their treatment."
Thyroid conditions affect an estimated 30 million individuals in the U.S.[i], and are especially prevalent among women. Approximately one in every eight women will develop a thyroid condition in her lifetime[ii]. Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, can be managed with levothyroxine[iii].
"Your thyroid can affect the way you feel, look and sound," said Jordan L. Geller, M.D., Vergara's endocrinologist. "I work with my patients to ensure they understand their hypothyroidism diagnosis and the medication and dose that are right for them."
The United States Food and Drug Administration has determined that some, but not all, levothyroxine products are interchangeable. A levothyroxine product that is not therapeutically equivalent may not have the same effect on a patient's thyroid hormone levels. However, levothyroxine products that are classified as therapeutically equivalent can be substituted with a physician's approval[iv].
SYNTHROID® (levothyroxine sodium tablets, USP) is a prescription synthetic thyroid hormone that is used to treat a condition called hypothyroidism. It is intended to replace a hormone that is normally produced by your thyroid gland. Generally, thyroid replacement therapy is to be taken for life.
Important Safety Information
- Thyroid hormones, including SYNTHROID, should not be used either alone or in combination with other medicines for the treatment of obesity or weight loss. In patients with normal thyroid levels, doses of SYNTHROID within the typical range used for hormone replacement are not effective for weight loss. Larger doses may result in serious or even life-threatening effects, especially when used in combination with certain other drugs used to reduce appetite.
- Notify your physician if you are allergic to any foods or medicines, are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, are breast-feeding or are taking any other medications, including prescription and over-the counter preparations.
- Notify your physician of any other medical conditions you may have, particularly heart disease, diabetes, clotting disorders, and adrenal or pituitary gland problems. Your dose of medications used to control these other conditions may need to be adjusted while you are taking SYNTHROID. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood and/or urinary glucose levels as directed by your physician and immediately report any changes to your physician. If you are taking anticoagulants (blood thinners), your clotting status should be checked frequently.
- Use SYNTHROID only as prescribed by your physician. Do not discontinue or change the amount you take, or how often you take it, unless directed to do so by your physician.
- Agents such as iron and calcium supplements and antacids can decrease the absorption of levothyroxine sodium tablets. Therefore, levothyroxine sodium tablets should not be administered within 4 hours of these agents.
- Take SYNTHROID (levothyroxine sodium tablets, USP) as a single dose, preferably on an empty stomach, one-half to one hour before breakfast. Levothyroxine absorption is increased on an empty stomach.
- Notify your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms: rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, leg cramps, headache, nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, tremors, change in appetite, weight gain or loss, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, fever, changes in menstrual periods, hives or skin rash, or any other unusual medical event.
- Notify your physician or dentist that you are taking SYNTHROID prior to any surgery.
- After a stable response has been established, it is important to have follow-up laboratory tests done, as ordered by your health care provider, at least annually.
This is the most important information to know about SYNTHROID. For more information, talk with your health care provider.
Synthroid is a prescription medication. For more information, visit www.synthroid.com.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088).
If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org or call the toll free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW) (1-888-477-2669) for assistance.
AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott. AbbVie combines the focus and passion of a leading-edge biotech with the expertise and structure of a long-established pharmaceutical leader. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases.
AbbVie aims to help patients live healthier lives and collaborate on sustainable healthcare solutions. In 2013, AbbVie will employ approximately 21,000 people worldwide and market medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
[i] American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). EmPower Website. http://www.empoweryourhealth.org/thyroid-top-ten. Accessed January 9, 2013.
[ii] Georgetown University Medical Center. Basic Thyroid Information. http://medicine.georgetown.edu/divisions/endocrinology/knowledge/204446.html. Accessed January 9, 2013.
[iii] Mayo Clinic. Hypothyroidism Treatment. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs Accessed January 9, 2013.
[iv] Food and Drug Administration. Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (Orange Book); 30th ed. 2010. http://www.fda.org. Accessed January 9, 2013.