8 Hypothyroidism Medication Mistakes to Avoid

When the thyroid gland does not make or secrete enough thyroid hormone, a condition known as hypothyroidism occurs.

The thyroid gland is a crucial component of the body's regulatory system. The thyroid, which has the shape of a butterfly, is an organ located near the base of the throat, below Adam's apple. TSH keeps T3 (thyroxine) and T4 (triiodothyronine) in check by activating the thyroid gland to produce them.

Thyroid dysfunctions typically manifest as either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism causes weight gain and decreased cold tolerance. Those suffering from hyperthyroidism may experience weight loss and intolerance to hot temperatures. More often than hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism is the result of a malfunction in the thyroid gland.

Levothyroxine, a synthetic version of thyroxine, treats hypothyroidism and restores normal thyroid hormone levels in most patients. However, people make some typical blunders when utilizing these drugs, and a few of them are discussed in the following section.

Not Telling your Doctor you are Going to take Supplements

Your doctor should know about supplements you take, like iodine, because they may change how your hypothyroidism is treated. Even though your body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones, most people in the United States get enough iodine from the food and water they eat and drink. Too much iodine can cause thyroid hormone levels to go too high or too low, so avoiding this supplement is best.

Missing Thyroid Medicines

It's normal to forget to take your thyroid medicine occasionally. It might be challenging for some people to remember to simultaneously take their thyroid medicine every day. But if you forget to take your medicine, then it can severely impact your health. It can lead to abnormal behavior in your body’s glands.

Lunch and Snacktime Dosing for Thyroid Medication

If you want your body to absorb the synthetic thyroid hormone properly, you must do it on an empty stomach and wait for at least 45 to 60 minutes before eating.

You can achieve this goal most efficiently by taking your thyroid medicine in the morning. To ensure they take their prescription on an empty stomach, the patients set the alarm at 5 a.m., take the medication, and then go back to sleep. You should wait at least four hours after eating to take your thyroid medication at night if you do so.

Combining Thyroid Medication and Coffee

Drinking coffee while taking thyroid medicine may cause adverse effects. You should wait an hour after taking your morning medicine before drinking coffee. Tirosint, a liquid-cap version of levothyroxine, may be taken with coffee because it does not appear to interact with the medicine.

Changing Your Medication Without Consulting Your Doctor

Birth control pills, estrogen, testosterone, seizure medications, and some antidepressants can all interfere with your body's ability to absorb thyroid hormone, as the American Thyroid Association (ATA) reports.

However, you should inform your doctor if you plan to use any other medications other than those listed above. Finding the optimal thyroid hormone dosage will likely only require some trial and error.

You should also visit your doctor if you decide to stop taking any of these medications or make any other changes to how you take them since your thyroid hormone dosage may need to be adjusted.

Thinking It's No Huge Thing to Switch Brands of Medicine

According to the ATA, there is no difference in the amount of thyroid replacement hormone found in brand-name and generic thyroid medications.

Although the ADA acknowledges that there is no discernible difference in hormone content between brands, many endocrinologists believe that there is and that additional elements can interfere with the hormone's absorption with each brand.

So, you shouldn't switch brands, generics, or brand names when filling a prescription at the pharmacy unless your doctor gives you the green light.

Overusing Thyroid Hormone Under the False Impression That it is safe

There is little reason to concern if you take too much of the synthetic thyroid hormone T4. However, the Cleveland Clinic warns that taking too much of it might have negative effects, such as drowsiness, trouble sleeping or concentrating, bone loss, and irregular heartbeats.

Combination therapy, which includes both T4 and T3, requires careful dosing due to the potential for adverse effects from an overdose of either thyroid hormone. According to the American Thoracic Society, overdosing on combination medication can cause heart and bone problems, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

If you have taken more of your medication than was intended, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Not Regularly Taking Your Thyroid Medication

Your treatment will be most effective if you adhere to the prescribed dosing schedule. The effectiveness of your prescription may change if you skip doses, take it in the morning one day and the evening the next, or take it with food some days and on an empty stomach other days.

The APA recommends taking medication simultaneously and in the same manner daily. If you have trouble remembering to take your medication appropriately, try using a pillbox or an alarm on your phone.

When a dose is missed, the ATA recommends taking it immediately. However, the ATA advises doubling up the following day if you miss a dosage because the drug stays in your system for a long period.


Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage for Hypothyroidism. This depends on several factors, including your thyroid hormone levels, body mass index (BMI), age, gender, and the medication's strength.

Your doctor has determined the best dose for you, so always take it exactly as written on the label. Your doctor will check your blood for thyroid hormone levels to see if your treatment has the desired effect or if you need a different dosage.

To treat hypothyroidism, levothyroxine is often started at a low dose of 100 mcg once daily and increased by 25 mcg every four to six weeks. Adjustments are normally made gradually once every six to eight weeks for people over 50 and/or with cardiovascular disease.

Updated on: 12-Apr-2023


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