How Long After Levothyroxine Can I Eat (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 60 Minutes

Levothyroxine is a synthetic T4 hormone most commonly used for the treatment of Hypothyroidism. It is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones also known as Underactive thyroid. The deficiency in thyroid hormones can disrupt things like coronary heart charge, frame temperature, and a few aspects of metabolism.

Levothyroxine commonly is also used with radioactive iodine therapy and surgery in the treatment of thyroid cancer. It belongs to the Hormones class of medicine. It really works via replacing the hormone produced by using the body. Hormones produced thru the thyroid gland are very essential. They have an impact on how the body functions.

How Long Should You Not Eat?

The lack of hormones messes up with the normal functioning of our body. And so does the deficit of T4 hormone. This effects our body in numerous ways like slow and poor development, ponderous speech, lack of energy, in curbed tiredness, and other conditions like constipation, weight change, alopecia, xerosis, cold intolerance, joint and muscle pain, depression or sometimes irregular menstrual periods.

It is always advised by the doctor to consume the medicine with an empty stomach and it is always advised not to eat anything until the next 30-60 minutes that implies that the advised time for consumption of food is after an hour you’ve taken Levothyroxine.

It is always suggested that this medicine should be consumed on an empty stomach. The prescribed method of orally consuming the capsule is to swallow it with about 250ml of water. It is preferably taken without crushing but in case of infants, the tab can be assorted with 2 tsp of water. This mixture cannot be stored and should be consumed immediately.

 Age of PatientHypothyroidismThyroid Cancer
Adults(>16years)1.7 mcg per kg2 mcg per kg
Children (>12 years)2-3 mcg per kg2 mcg per kg
Children (6-12)4-5 mcg per kgNA
Less than 6 yearsAs prescribed by doctorAs prescribed by doctor

Why Should One Wait For About An Hour Before Eating?

This orally consumed T4 medicine confines within the jejunum and upper ileum of the human body. T4 absorption and digestion is enhanced by fasting and reducing the intake of certain food items like soy, milk, fiber etc. The rate of confinement also varies with the age.

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There are several other medications that a patient might consume along with T4 pills. This can also impact the confinement of T4 in the body. They can belong to mineral family, inhibitors or sequestrants. They may also sometimes come from supplements of various nutrients like calcium, magnesium, aluminum, iron or protein. The doctors need to know your daily supplements and other medications. In most of the cases, doctors prescribe to take the medicine empty stomach with more than 2 hours gap between any other medicine and levothyroxine.

There are major factors underlying the fact that levothyroxine should be consumed on an empty stomach. The patient and doctor thoroughly discuss the effects and impacts other nutrients can have on the hormones of patients if pill is taken along with them. It becomes inevitable for the patient, in many cases, that he/she should consume the medicine religiously early morning so as to prevent any inconsistent absorption of the hormones.

Levothyroxine is a medicine that needs to be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor since it replaces the hormone in your body and not following the prescription can lead to some adverse effects.

Conclusion

Thyroid medications should always be consumed with prescription and discussions with your doctor.  Being a patient, you should always be aware of the symptoms, causes and adverse effects of the disease you’re dealing with. In case of consumption of T3 medicine, you need to understand that your body will require a time gap of 30-60 minutes before eating anything after your dose.

If you feel that your recommendation is not working, you should always revaluate your dose and any other external interactions with your body. Please be mindful that you should not quit or switch your medicine without medical assistance.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2265.1995.tb01894.x
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002934394900930
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