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Should you take your thyroid medication at night?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 18, 2022.

Official answer

by Drugs.com
  • Yes, you can take your thyroid medication at night, as long as you are taking it on an empty stomach.

Thyroid medication is absorbed best when taken on an empty stomach, as having food in the stomach lowers how much is absorbed. Often patients are advised to take thyroid medication in the morning 30 to 60 minutes before breakfast, but you can take it in the evening on an empty stomach if this suits your lifestyle better.

Some medications interact with thyroid medicine and shouldn’t be taken together at the same time, so take this into consideration when deciding when you should take your thyroid medicine.

The most important thing when taking your thyroid medicine is that you take it consistently by taking it the same way, every day.

For maximum and consistent absorption of levothyroxine the latest guidelines from the American Thyroid Association recommend if possible levothyroxine should be taken 60 minutes before breakfast or at bedtime (3 or more hours after the evening meal).

Natural Thyroid

Levothyroxine is the main treatment for hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), but some people may see better results with prescription natural thyroid, such as:

It’s best to take these on an empty stomach with a glass of water at least 30 to 60 minutes before breakfast or another snack or meal. These drugs can be stimulating and may affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Levothyroxine

Levothyroxine, the name of all man-made forms of the thyroid hormone T4, mimics the hormone that is produced by your thyroid. It is typically taken for life. Brand names include:

Why do I need a thyroid medication?

The thyroid gland regulates your body's metabolism by producing thyroid hormones. If the thyroid gland is underactive, it no longer produces enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling cold
  • Thinning hair
  • Depression

Taking natural thyroid or levothyroxine will help return your thyroid hormone levels to the normal range. You will need to have bloods tests to ensure your thyroid levels are within the normal range, and your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your medicine.

References
  1. American Thyroid Association (ATA). Thyroid Hormone Treatment. Available at: http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-hormone-treatment. [Accessed August 18, 2022].
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Hypothyroidism. November 21, 2019. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/hypothyroidism.html. [Accessed August 20, 2021].
  3. Bolk N, Visser TJ, et al. Effects of Evening vs Morning Levothyroxine Intake: A Randomized Double-blind Crossover Trial. Arch Intern Med. 2010; 170 (22):1996-2003. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.436.
  4. Jonklaas J, Bianco AC, et al. Guidelines for the Treatment of Hypothyroidism: Prepared by the American Thyroid Association Task Force on Thyroid Hormone Replacement. Thyroid. 2014 Dec 1; 24(12): 1670–1751.[Accessed August 18, 2022] https://dx.doi.org/10.1089%2Fthy.2014.0028.
  5. Allergan. Armour® Thyroid (thyroid tablets, USP). July 2018. Available at: https://media.allergan.com/actavis/actavis/media/allergan-pdf-documents/product-prescribing/06-2018-Armour-Thyroid-PI-final.pdf.[Accessed August 18, 2022].

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