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How long after taking levothyroxine can you drink milk?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Oct 7, 2021.

Official answer


You should avoid drinking milk until at least 4 hours after taking levothyroxine. Dairy products—including milk, cheese and yogurt—contain high calcium levels, which affect how levothyroxine is absorbed into your body.

Drinking milk or eating other calcium-rich foods less than 4 hours before or after taking levothyroxine can reduce the absorption of the drug, lowering its efficacy. Other calcium-rich foods include broccoli, kale, okra and anything containing calcium-fortified flour.

In general, patients are advised to take levothyroxine on an empty stomach and not eat for at least 30-60 minutes after taking it.

  1. National Health Service (NHS). Levothyroxine. Last reviewed October 23, 2018. Available at: [Accessed August 27, 2021].
  2. Chon DA, Reisman T, Weinreb JE, Hershman JM, Leung AM. Concurrent Milk Ingestion Decreases Absorption of Levothyroxine. Thyroid. 2018;28(4):454-457. doi: 10.1089/thy.2017.0428.

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