How to Get the Most out of Your Thyroid Medication

You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your thyroid medication, whether it be NDT, T4-only meds like Levo or T3 meds.

You should be dosing T3 and NDT more than once a day, and all thyroid medication should ideally be taken on an empty stomach, with water, and nothing else consumed, including any other meds or food, for at least another hour, in my opinion. Other sources may say that half an hour is sufficient, or that you can take it with food. I like to be cautious, however.

For iron, magnesium, calcium and contraceptive medication, four hours should be left between thyroid meds and those. For example, thyroid meds be taken at 7am, and those taken at 11am or later. Oestrogen, calcium and iron bind some of the thyroid hormones and makes them unusable.

This is because other things consumed or taken at the same time or close to your thyroid medication, can affect absorption, particularly iron, magnesium, calcium and contraceptive pills. And antibiotics. 

I am on NDT, and the below is my schedule for how I take it to ensure I get the most out of it possible.

6am – Take half my daily dose of NDT

7:30am – Have breakfast

12:30pm – Have lunch and eat nothing else until dinner

3:30pm – Have second half of my daily NDT dose

6-7pm – Have dinner 

Yours can differ depending on your own circumstances, but I like to keep NDT at least an hour away from any food, drink (that’s not water) and other meds and supplements, if not a bit longer if possible, to avoid anything affecting it.

I only drink water all day, apart from one or two cups of fruit or herbal tea, which are never drank within a couple of hours of my next/last NDT dosage. I keep at least an hour either side, so before and after, taking each dose, free from anything else. If you can leave up to a few hours, then this is better, but it is not always viable.

If you’re on thyroid medication and still feel unwell, then check out this post.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given, but more reading and references can also be found at:

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I run a Facebook group, called Thyroid Family: Hypothyroidism Advice & Support Group. This group is for underactive thyroid/hypothyroidism patients only, and not medical professionals or anyone else. If you have any questions on living with hypothyroidism, or want some support, help or advice, please join us. 

I also run a group for the spouses, partners and other halves of hypothyroid patients, called Hypothyroid Patients Other Halves – Support & Advice Group. This is for the other halves only and not patients. 



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