How to Properly Take Your Thyroid Medication

The goal is to achieve consistency to avoid fluctuations in thyroid levels symptoms.
How to Properly Take Your Thyroid Medication

While a diagnosis of hypothyroidism may be overwhelming, rest assured: with the proper dosage of the synthetic hormone thyroxine, your symptoms could disappear.

Levothyroxine (or Synthroid) is a drug that contains a synthetic form of one thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T4). Levothyroxine is the most commonly prescribed thyroid hormone replacement drug. T4 is the storage hormone and must be converted by the body into T3 to be used by cells. 


Finding the right treatment and dosage is a step-by-step process that takes time and requires monitoring. 

Thyroid hormone replacement drugs are powerful. This is why it is critical to be under careful medical supervision when on these drugs, especially when starting a new brand or increasing dosage.

That said, there are some tips you can keep in your back pocket for how to take thyroxine carefully and effectively. 


How To Take Your Medication

  • Take your pill at the same time every day. Make it part of your daily routine – for instance, take your pill before you wash your face or comb your hair.

  • Swallow your pill with any liquid other than soy milk, grapefruit juice, or coffee. Do not take the pill without liquid – if it dissolves in your mouth or throat, not enough of the medication will enter your bloodstream.

  • Whether you take your pill with food or on an empty stomach, make sure you always do it that way, as foods and medicines can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the synthetic thyroxine. Also keep in mind that if you take thyroxine with food, you may need a higher dose than if you take it on an empty stomach.

  • Calcium or iron supplements, antacids containing calcium or aluminum hydroxide, and other medications may prevent your body from fully absorbing the synthetic thyroxine. Talk to your doctor to learn how long you should wait to take those other supplements and medications after you have taken your daily thyroid medicine.


Stick to One Brand

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deemed the available brands of synthetic thyroxine safe and effective, they all may be made a little differently. For this reason, if you believe you should switch brands, talk to your doctor about it.


Each of the brands of medication contains the same effective ingredient, but the small differences in which the pills are manufactured could influence the way your body absorbs and uses them.


Also, the ATA suggests that you do not use generic thyroxine. That’s because generic brands could be used interchangeably when you get your prescription filled. You should ensure that your pharmacist always gives you the same brand of thyroxine.


Synthetic Thyroxine For Children or Babies

To give synthetic thyroxine to a baby, crush the entire pill with the back of a spoon or with a pill crusher and mix entire crushed pill with a small amount of breast milk, water, or formula. Use a syringe, dropper, or spoon to insert the mixture into the baby’s mouth. Also, the instrument used to give the baby the mixture should be “washed through” with more liquid two more times until all the medication has been given to the child.


Older children or those who can swallow the pills should be encouraged to do so. If they cannot do this, put the pill into a small paper cup with just enough water to dissolve the medication. Have the child drink the solution, and then put a little more water into the cup. Make sure the child then drinks that second little bit of water, which would contain any remaining bits of the drug.

If You Miss a Pill

If you miss taking a pill in the morning, and remember it in the afternoon, simply take it then. If you remember today that you did not take yesterday’s pill, you can take both of them in the same day, but try to take one in the morning and one in the afternoon, suggests the ATA.


If you forget to take your medication on a regular basis (for instance, only take a pill five or six days most weeks), your body will think it is getting a lower dose and will respond accordingly. In this case, make sure you tell your doctor.


Schedule a consultation with a Paloma doctor today. Our doctors want you to feel your best, and will explore all possible treatments based on your symptoms and history. They’ll work closely with you to find the optimal functioning of your thyroid.

While there is a lot to consider when you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, taking your medication should not be overwhelming. Once you establish a routine, soon it will become such a part of your day that it fades into the background.


Is Paloma Right For Me?

Hypothyroidism is a long-term commitment and we’re committed to you. Schedule a free, no-obligation phone consultation with one of our intake specialists to find out more.

Schedule a call

Sign up for exclusive offers and to stay get tips, recipes and stories about hypothyroidism

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.