Ask About Drug Interactions
Several hundreds of prescription drugs, over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements react with thyroid medications.
Bring a detailed list of everything you take with you to your doctor appointment and to the pharmacy to be certain you are not taking other medications or supplements which will affect your thyroid treatment plan or which will be unsafe to take in conjunction with thyroid medication.
What Happens If I Eat Or Take Medication Too Soon
If you occasionally do not wait the full recommended time before eating or drinking, do not worry. This is not dangerous. Just do your best the next day.
The recommendations provided here help your doctors to dose your thyroid medication more accurately and decrease the need for frequent blood tests. If you are having trouble taking your thyroid hormone consistently, please speak with your doctor.
Avoiding Food Interactions With Levothyroxine
Although dietary fiber and foods including milk , soy, and coffee may delay or impair the absorption of levothyroxine, you can avoid this issue by waiting at least 30 to 60 minutes before eating or switching to the liquid or gel cap formulation of the drug, according to a systematic review published in Pharmaceuticals in March 2021.In other words: You dont have to avoid certain foods just because you are taking levothyroxine you just have to follow the recommended waiting time before or after eating.
To completely avoid an issue with food interaction, 45 to 60 minutes should elapse between the levothyroxine dose and breakfast, says Dr. Rosenfeld. Most people, however, feel that 30 minutes is adequate. Increasing the time may be beneficial for those patients who do not appear to be absorbing the drug.
As to the formulation of levothyroxine , liquid formulations or the gel capsule do not have to dissolve in the stomach prior to absorption in the intestine, explained Dr. Rosenfeld. This often results in patients requiring lower doses than the tablets.
It has been suggested that the absorption may be better or more consistent with the gel cap or liquid and the absorption of the gel cap or liquid is not affected by food or beverages. Some authors recommend these newer formulations for patients with gastrointestinal malabsorption and those who cannot alter their schedule with regard to interfering medications or foods.
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/7what Kinds Of Medications Are Prescribed
Dr Dutta revealed that in the case of hyperthyroidism pills or radioactive iodine were prescribed. “The use of radioactive iodine is a long-term remedy. However, radioactive iodine is not recommended for adults in their reproductive years because it is poisonous to both male and female gonads and can even cause infertility,” he said.
He asserted that in the case of hypothyroidism, the hypofunction of the thyroid has to be monitored regularly because if a person continues to take less dose, he/she will remain in the persistent hypothyroid state and the metabolism will slow down. On the other hand, if the person takes extra doses he/she may go into a toxic state which is again harmful to the body metabolism. So accordingly it has to be treated as per the body requirement of the patient.
/7the Right Time To Take Thyroid Medicines And Why Is It Essential
A thyroid disorder is a hormonal condition in which the thyroid gland either overproduces or underproduces the thyroid hormone required by the body. The condition disrupts the normal functioning of the internal system, leading to symptoms like insomnia, weight loss, irritability and others. In most cases the condition cannot be reversed, it can only be managed by taking medications regularly. Thyroid medication helps to regulate the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland present at the base of the neck and adjust the hormone level. Unmanaged thyroid levels may lead to heart, nerve and fertility-related issues. But for optimal benefits, the medicines must be taken at the right time and in the right quantity.
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When Is The Best Time To Take Thyroid Medicine
You should take thyroid medicine when you first notice symptoms of hypothyroidism. You should start taking your thyroid medication at the same time each day, either in the morning or evening on an empty stomach . This is to make sure that it reaches your body before you eat for energy. Taking your medications more than once a day may cause problems with absorption and stability of the drug in your blood stream.
Should I see my doctor if I have no symptoms?
If you do not experience any signs or symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, then seeing a health care provider is not necessary unless there are other medical conditions that may be affecting your thyroid function.
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TYPICAL TYPING ERRORS: Missing Commas
A patient comes to her physician complaining about headaches during menstruation after 20 years of amenorrhea . She has been found to have mild mental retardation, but she can pass all school examinations without difficulty despite this finding. The only family history includes two sisters who had low-normal performance IQs because they were too emotionally disturbed and hyperactive as children. What might her diagnosis be? 1) Hypothyroidism 2) Hypotonia 3) Hyperthyroidism 4) Hypercortisolism 5) Gluten allergy/intolerance 6) Underlying depression/anxiety state? Answer: 1
Determine When Taking Levothyroxine Is Best For You
If you currently take levothyroxine in the morning but are finding it troublesome to wait before eating or drinking anythingor if you otherwise would prefer to take your levothyroxine at night you might consider making the switch to evening dosing. However, not every person is a good candidate for this if you dont have a consistent sleep schedule or you take other medications at night that interfere with levothyroxine absorption, morning dosing may be the better option for you.
Speak with your doctor before you make any change in the timing of when you take your levothyroxine. And be aware that there must be four hours between your last meal or snack and when you plan to take your levothyroxine at bedtime. If you are a nighttime eater, this is likely not a good change for you to make.
Ideally, levothyroxine should be the only medication taken at bedtime. Just as with morning dosing, it is best to avoid co-administration with other medications such as statins, blood pressure drugs, and metformin.
If you take other medications that must be taken in the evening, talk with your doctor about adjusting the timing of these medications so you take them with dinner, leaving four hours afterward so you can take the levothyroxine at bedtime.
Close monitoring of your and any symptoms you notice will help assure that your thyroid labs remain within acceptable reference ranges.
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Getting The Most Accurate Results
There are two primary factors that cause significant fluctuations in your test results food and medication.
Fluctuations from Food
Even though common medical guidelines suggest that fasting is not a necessary element of accurate thyroid testing, many studies have shown that fasting in the morning causes TSH levels to increase as much as 26 percent.
Such a significant shift means that you may appear to have subclinical hypothyroidism in the morning while your levels stabilize later in the day once the TSH spike has subsided. This significant factor must be accounted for when one undergoes thyroid testing.
It is common for those administering thyroid tests to indicate whether the patient was fasting or not to account for the difference in TSH levels. However, because thyroid function is unique to the individual there is still a risk of false data and inaccurate diagnosis due to food consumption prior to lab work.
How Medication Muddles Results
Thyroid treatments and medications are intended to stabilize thyroid hormone levels, which can take weeks or months to reach equilibrium.
In general, the timing of your thyroid medication does not significantly influence test results. However, there are situations and certain types of medication that can cause lab results to be skewed dramatically.
Most Thyroid Patients Take Their Thyroid Medication Incorrectly
Ive been helping thyroid patients for years and this is an issue that is far more prevalent than it should be.
What am I talking about?
Im talking about how to take your thyroid medication.
I do understand why many thyroid patients get it wrong, though.
When you break down how to take your thyroid medication it can get complex rapidly.
But it doesnt have to be.
Today we are going to talk about everything you need to know to ensure that you are taking your thyroid medication correctly.
Why is this important?
Well, if you arent taking it correctly then you have no idea whether it is working or not.
If you dont take it correctly then you cant blame your thyroid symptoms on anything else.
And if you were to take it correctly, you might find that you see an almost immediate improvement in your thyroid symptoms.
Taking your medication correctly ensures that the thyroid hormone that your body needs gets into your body from your gut which is no easy task as you will soon find out.
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How Long Does It Take For Thyroid Medication To Work
The time it takes for the medication to work is unique to each person.
Once you start your medication, it can take a few weeks to start noticing an improvement in your symptoms. However, some people see their symptoms get better almost right after starting.
To see how your body responds to thyroid medication, you should retest your thyroid function about six weeks after starting or changing your prescription. Depending on your symptoms and lab results, your doctor may make changes to your dose. For example, if you are still having symptoms, you may need a higher dose of medication.
Sometimes, it can take several dosage changes, and even in medication, to get the results you need. However, once you find the right combination, it’s advantageous to stick with it unless something changes or your symptoms return.
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Levothyroxine is used to treat hypothyroidism . It is also used with surgery and radioactive iodine therapy to treat thyroid cancer. Levothyroxine is in a class of medications called hormones. It works by replacing thyroid hormone that is normally produced by the body.
Without thyroid hormone, your body cannot function properly, which may result in poor growth, slow speech, lack of energy, excessive tiredness, constipation, weight gain, hair loss, dry, thick skin, increased sensitivity to cold, joint and muscle pain, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, and depression. When taken correctly, levothyroxine reverses these symptoms.
Taking Too Much Thyroid Hormone And Thinking Its Harmless
The synthetic thyroid hormone T4 is relatively safe, and you shouldnât worry if you accidentally take an extra dose, Bianco says. But taking an excessive amount could have side effects it can make you feel tired, affect your sleep and concentration, lead to bone loss, or cause irregular heartbeats, according to the Cleveland Clinic. If you take combination therapy, which contains both T4 and T3, the medication needs to be taken precisely as prescribed, as taking too much can be dangerous. The ATA notes that potential side effects of taking too much combination therapy include a racing pulse, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and problems with your heart and bones. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you accidentally take more than prescribed.
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Take Them At The Right Time Of Day
Next, you have to think about what time of day you should be taking your supplements.
Most thyroid supplements tend to have a stimulatory effect on the body.
They arent a stimulant in the same way that caffeine is a stimulant but they are a stimulant in that they are providing your body with nutrients and ingredients which try to rev up the engine of your body.
You can think of both your adrenals and your thyroid gland as the engine of your body as they help to regulate your energy production, heat, and metabolism.
Supplements that support and enhance thyroid function will necessarily try to rev these systems up.
And thats exactly what you want!
But reving this system up means that you may experience certain symptoms such as a burst of energy after taking them.
And you dont really want to get that burst of energy right before you go to bed or at a time when you need to relax.
Because of this, its often best to take most thyroid supplements sometime in the morning so that you can take advantage of the pleasant side effects that they carry.
But you may find that taking them come into conflict with your thyroid medication which is often taken in the morning as well.
This is why most supplements should be taken in the morning but 30-60 minutes AFTER you take your thyroid medication.
This allows you to take advantage of the benefits of the supplements without causing any negative problems with your thyroid medication.
Is Thyroid Medication For Lifetime
An underactive thyroid is a lifelong condition, so youll usually need to take levothyroxine for the rest of your life. If youre prescribed levothyroxine because you have an underactive thyroid, youre entitled to a medical exemption certificate. This means you do not have to pay for your prescriptions.
What Interferes With The Absorption Of Thyroid Hormone Replacement Drugs
Ideally, you should swallow your thyroid medication with water.
Suppose you’re taking levothyroxine solution like Tirosint-SOL. In that case, you can take the liquid medication directly into your mouth or add the ampule contents to a glass of water and drink all of it immediately.
One additional note: you may have seen recommendations to chew your thyroid medication or let it dissolve sublingually under the tongue. It’s not recommended for levothyroxine tablets, and there’s no evidence that this improves the effectiveness or absorption of levothyroxine. Some patients, however, anecdotally report better results when taking natural desiccated thyroid drugs this way.
If you plan to change how you take your thyroid medication, always talk to your health care provider.
Overindulging On Certain Foods Which Can Also Affect How Your Thyroid Meds Work
For the most part, you shouldn’t have problems with most foods if you wait at least 45 minutes after taking your thyroid medication before you eat. But if you dont wait long enough, certain foods may impair absorption of the hypothyroid medication more than others, says Deena Adimoolam, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. That includes foods that are high in calcium, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, kale, and spinach.
Eating a lot of soy has also been thought to impair the absorption of thyroid hormone, but a review of studies published in December 2016 in the journal Nutrients noted that its not necessary for most people with thyroid disease to avoid soy foods because medication dosage can be adjusted accordingly, if necessary. If you eat about the same amount every day, your healthcare provider has probably found the proper dose of thyroid hormone to counteract soys effects. So just be sure to stay consistent with your soy intake.
Handling Your Thyroid Medication Prescription
Getting the best results from your thyroid hormone replacement medication starts when you pick up your thyroid medicine from the pharmacy. Whether you’re starting a new medication or picking up a refill, be sure to check the label to confirm you’re getting:
- The correct medication
Thyroid medication shouldn’t cause adverse effects when used in the appropriate dose. If your pharmacy changes your brand, you have the right as a patient to tell them you want exactly what your doctor prescribed. Still, if you do change brands, let your doctor know to ensure you’re still getting the proper dosage.
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What Is Levothyroxine And What Is It Used For
Levothyroxine helps millions of people manage their hypothyroidism . You may be hypothyroid because of an autoimmune disease , thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, or just having a low functioning thyroid.
Levothyroxine is a synthetic form of a thyroid hormone called T4 and acts as a thyroid hormone replacement therapy for low thyroid hormone levels. In combination with other treatments, levothyroxine is also sometimes used to treat certain forms of thyroid cancer . Levothyroxine is also available under the brand names Synthroid, Levothroid, Unithroid, Tirosint, and Levoxyl.
Getting just the right level of thyroid replacement hormone circulating throughout the body is key to helping you feel and function well. Unfortunately, given other medicines and substances people take, this can be a bit of a balancing act.
Mens healthcare, without the waiting room
Other Considerations: Medication Interactions Dosage Adjustments
Dietary supplements including calcium, aluminum, chromium, and iron will impair the absorption of levothyroxine tablets and should be separated by at up to 4 hours. Medications can also interact with levothyroxine. Among them are orlistat, cholestyramine, colesevelam, sucralfate, phosphate binders, potassium binders, and some common ulcer or acid reflux medications, such as omeprazole. If you are taking one of these medications, you may need to time them for a different time of day than you take your levothyroxine, or your dose of levothyroxine might need to be adjusted to compensate.
Additionally, estrogen in birth control pills or as a replacement hormone after can increase dose requirements for levothyroxine, by increasing the amount of thyroid binding globulin, the protein that carries thyroid hormone around in the blood, said Dr. Cooper. Patients may require an increase in their dose of levothyroxine when they start taking the estrogen.
If you later stop taking estrogen or another drug that inhibits levothyroxine absorption, however, your dose may need to be decreased back to where it was before you started the interacting drug, Dr. Cooper pointed out.
Because of these fluctuations, after starting any new medications, vitamins, or supplements, you should have your TSH levels regularly checked and monitored.
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