Ingesting medication, per se, sounds fairly simple. However, it is imperative to take a few precautionary steps while taking thyroid medication to ensure effectivness.
Thyroid medication is required to be taken every day. Use our app, ThyForLife, to set daily reminders and never miss a dose. Additionally, doctors have suggested that thyroid replacement medicines like levothyroxine or T4/T3 combination therapy work best when taken at the same time every day.
Physicians believe levothyroxine should be taken on an empty stomach, preferably an hour before breakfast/coffee or approximately three to four hours after dinner. This allows for more absorption.
There are certain nutrients whose consumption can interfere with the absorption of levothyroxine. It is suggested that antacids or supplements and multivitamins containing calcium or iron should be taken several hours before or after ingesting levothyroxine as iron can make the drug less effective and calcium interferes with absorption, as does coffee.
Once you have received a prescription from your doctor, be sure to ask if any other medicines that you are taking will interfere with taking your thyroid medication. When at the pharmacy, follow this checklist:
- The name of the medicine that you have received matches the name on your prescription.
- The dosage is appropriate and again, matches the dosage mentioned in your prescription.
- The medicine has not expired or will not expire soon.
Some medical conditions that can affect absorption and consequently effectiveness are:
- Lactose intolerance
- Celiac disease
- Atrophic gastritis
- Malabsorption syndromes
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- Autoimmune gastritis
- Pancreatic diseases
- Liver disease
If you have any of these conditions, please consult your physician.
Some thyroid medicines can have side effects and it is important to discuss them with your physicians. Furthermore, if you have any questions about your dosage/feel that your dosage needs to be increased, please get in touch with your physician to get an expert opinion before making any changes.
If you want to know more about what to eat to help ease your hypothyroidism symptoms, read our previous blog post!