What Is the Best Time to Take Thyroid Medication?

An extremely common problem for many people is thyroid trouble. In fact, around 12 percent of the U.S. population will experience thyroid trouble at one point in their life. Because an underactive thyroid gland is the most common cause of thyroid troubles, many people are prescribed levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, or Levothroid). This is a hormonal supplement with the intention of boosting the thyroid gland production. But now there is speculation over when is the best time to take the thyroid medication.

What Is the Best Time to Take Thyroid Medication?

It has been shown that the best time to take your medication is when you get up in the morning. It is also important to wait around thirty minutes or so before you eat. This is because food can affect how your body absorbs the hormone, which does affect how it works.

If you are taking calcium supplements, iron supplements, and antacids, be sure to take your thyroid meds four hours before or after them.

There are some people who say you can take the medication at bed time, is this true?

There is some research that reports taking this medication at bedtime instead of in the morning results in higher thyroid hormone concentrations. Research still needs to be done. There are experts who believe there isn’t a reason to think the best time to take thyroid medication is at night if you are already taking it in the morning and finding good results. On the other hand, if you are not happy or want to take your medicine at night, you could consider it.

It is recommended that you speak with your doctor about changing the time of taking your medication. If you decide to switch your meds to the evening, check to see what your thyroid levels are after you’ve switched; usually waiting about 6-8 weeks is fine. The results from the blood tests and any changes in your symptoms can help your doctor determine if you should adjust the timing or the dosage of your medication.

Precautions/Tips for Taking Thyroid Medications Properly

After knowing the best time to take thyroid medication, here are more tips to ensure safety and best results.

  • It is important to not take other medications without first checking with your doctor. This includes over-the-counter drugs as well as prescriptions.
  • There are other health conditions you may see affected by thyroid hormones and disease. Make sure to speak with your doctor if you are being treated for thyroid disease and have any of the following: high blood pressure, underactive adrenal gland, heart disease, hardening of arteries, and underactive pituitary gland.
  • Hypothyroidism can be the source of infertility in both women and men. Do not use levothyroxine to treat infertility unless the cause is hypothyroidism.
  • If you have diabetes it is important to track your urine or blood sugar levels. Make sure to let your doctor know right away if you experience any changes.
  • If you believe you have become pregnant while on this medicine you need to speak to your doctor immediately. You may need larger doses for the same result while pregnant.
  • When women are on this medicine for prolonged periods, they may experience bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis. Speak with your doctor if you are worried about this.  
  • Make sure your dentist and doctor both know you are on this medicine. This medicine may need to be stopped a few days before surgery or medical tests.
  • There may be temporary loss of hair in the first few months on this medication. If you have concerns, please speak to your doctor.
  • Some things may affect how your medication is absorbed such as dietary fiber, cotton seed meal, walnuts and soybean flour. If you enjoy these foods, you may need to take your medicine at a different time. Discuss these concerns with your doctor. Keep this tip in mind besides the best time to take thyroid medication.
  • Make sure to take your medication at the same time every day so your hormone levels are as stable as they can be.
  • There are different brands of thyroid hormone with inactive ingredients that are different. If you see a change in brands from either your pharmacist or your insurance coverage, make sure to check with your doctor before consuming.
  • If a dose is missed, make sure to take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time to take the next dose, skip the missed and return to your regular schedule. Do not double up on doses.
  • If you start to experience rapid heartbeats, call your doctor right away. This is also true if you experience weight loss or gain, leg cramps, nervousness, irritability, shortness of breath, chest pain, appetite changes, sleeplessness, vomiting, tremors, fever, hives, rashes, sweating, diarrhea, or intolerance to heat.
  • Check with your doctor before discontinuing this medicine. Your doctor may recommend that you are slowly weaned off the medicine before stopping completely.
 
 
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