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Hypothyroidism Medication - How To Get The Benefits?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Tanvi Mayur Patel 90% (1229 ratings)
Masters in Endocrinology, MBBS, C.Diab, CCEBDM(DIABETOLOGY), CCMTD, DOMS
Endocrinologist, Mumbai  •  2020 years experience
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Hello,

 My name is Dr. Tanvi Mayur Patel. I'm practicing endocrinologist. Today we are going to talk about hypothyroid medication. Now, many people who have primary hypothyroidism also known as Hashimoto's disease they must be taking thyroid medications now today I'm going to talk about how to get the complete benefits from this medicine and how to take medications correctly. Now those people who are taking this hypothyroid medication that is a levothyroxine that is a generic content in it they may have been prescribed this medicine by their thyroid treating physician or an endocrinologist doctor, so first questions which you need to ask yourself and your doctor why are you prescribed this medicine and what is the indication of you taking this medicine and how long you have to take the medicine? so once you are clear with these answers then you must start taking the medication. Now you have gone out of the doctor's chamber and a doctor has written a medication and now you go to a chemist store to purchase the medicine, make sure that you buy the same brand that the doctor has prescribed to you and the same dose.

Now the dose is very very important and thyroid medications are very small dose prescribed in micrograms so even if there is a small mistake, let's say instead of 12.5 microgram by mistake if the chemist dispenses you of 125 microgram it can make a huge mistake in your dose, so once you purchase the medication make sure the dose is very very accurate after that check the expiry date of the medication, if medicine is coming near the expiry or it is already expired then the potency and the effectiveness of the medications will be very very limited. Now secondly when you come and bring this medication with you at your home, store this medicine in a cupboard or somewhere which is a little darker area, do not expose this medicine to direct sunlight as it can affect the quality of the drug. If you're buying the medication for a long period of time, let's say you have a thyroid problem since many years and you're buying the drug again and again then my advice will be to stick to the same brand, don't keep jumping from one brand to another brand as it will have a different efficacy in different, different company products.

Now taking the medication is very very important. Consistency is the key for this medicine now since this drug has to be taken early in the morning on an empty stomach many a times patients tend to forget taking medications and same if you keep forgetting this medicine you will not get full benefit out of the drug and when you go to your doctor with your follow-up visit, you will find that your thyroid reports are not completely normal and then your doctor may think that you may have to change the drug; however, the problem was not the dose of the drug but the problem was of you not taking the drug properly so the consistency is very very important. Now how do you remember whether you have to take the medication, so my advice would be to keep the drug next to your bed so that the first thing in the morning when you wake up you have to take the drug either you can put an alarm for that which can help, then the second is a calendar method so the moment you have taken that drug put a cross mark over the calendar and if you have forgotten do not put a cross mark, so at the end of the week or at the end of the month you know how many days you have taken the medicine and how many days you have forgotten, this will help you in understanding your compliance of the medicine and when you go to your doctor you can discuss this with your doctor before he or she changes your dose of the drug.

Now when you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is to take the medicine after that only you do your daily activities like going to the washroom and brushing your teeth, making the tea and by doing all that process or maybe doing an exercise you will spend at least half an hour to 45 minutes. Now how do I take the medicine? you have to take this medication early in the morning now along with this medicine you cannot eat or drink anything except plain water for at least 30 to 45 minutes, after that only you can have your meal or your tea, coffee or your breakfast. Now, many people are taking calcium supplements, iron supplements or maybe an acidity medications, these medicines should not be taken together with the thyroid medicine, if you have to take this medication make sure you change the timing of this drug because it will have a hampering effect over your absorption of the thyroid medicine, so thyroid medicine in the early morning on an empty stomach nothing for 30 minutes to 45 minutes, then tea, coffee, breakfast and if you are taking calcium and iron tablets some other time of the day. I hope my video has helped you in understanding how to take the thyroid medications correctly. If you have any more questions you can feel free to ask us and contact me through lybrate.

Thank you.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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