Levothyroxine is a thyroid hormone treatment taken by people with a slow working thyroid (hypothyroidism). The thyroid produces thyroid hormone, which regulates energy levels and growth. To make up for the lack of thyroid hormones, levothyroxine is administered. Yes, you can drink alcohol while taking levothyroxine. Alcohol does not affect how this medicine works.
In some cases, people find that their energy levels on levothyroxine are lower than on other thyroid hormone treatments they’ve taken in the past. In some cases, this is a common factor, and doctors will carry out tests to determine whether you’re receiving the correct dosage of levothyroxine for your thyroid hormone levels.
For most people with a slow working thyroid, taking levothyroxine isn’t just a good treatment option; it’s their preferred one.
This, unfortunately, isn’t the case for everyone. Some people report feeling extremely tired on Levothyroxine (levothyroxine) which they take for their thyroid disease. Among these reports, some users claim they even feel worse than before treatment.
The effects of levothyroxine treatment for a slow working thyroid, including extreme tiredness, can be caused by several factors.
If you’re experiencing side effects to your medication, it’s often for one of three reasons:
- It could be that the dosage isn’t high enough for your body and needs to increase.
- Your thyroid may be producing too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), which can cause tiredness.
- You could have another condition that’s causing the tiredness to begin with, such as depression or anemia apart from your thyroid disorder.
Understanding Levothyroxine: Thyroid Medication for Thyroid Disease
First, we’ll go over some preliminary information. We’ll then walk through how levothyroxine affects your body and how this can contribute to extreme tiredness, followed by some solutions for what you can do if you feel exhausted on Levothyroxine.
How does levothyroxine work on the thyroid gland?
Levothyroxine is a thyroid hormone treatment that replaces the thyroxine that your body isn’t producing in adequate amounts.
Thyroxine has various functions in the body, including regulating energy production and growth. The lack of thyroid hormone production can result in tiredness, weight gain, muscle weakness, depression, and dry skin.
Once your body detects that there’s enough thyroxine in circulation, it will stop producing so much. This means you’ll need to continue taking levothyroxine throughout your life for it to be effective.
What Are the Benefits of Levothyroxine as Thyroid Medication?
In some cases, people with a low thyroid function feel better on Levothyroxine than they did before being diagnosed. If you have a slow thyroid function and are dealing with such symptoms as weight gain or sadness, levo-thyroidine supplementation may help you overcome these problems and enhance your life.
It’s important to remember that every person’s experience of levothyroxine is unique. You may feel more tired than before taking Levothyroxine, and it just means that the medicine isn’t suited to your body and dosage needs adjusting.
What Are the Side Effects of Levothyroxine?
Side effects to treatment with levothyroxine typically occur in some of the first few weeks after you start taking it. These effects are temporary and will subside as your body gets used to having an increased level of thyroxine in circulation.
As with any medication, how your body responds to levothyroxine treatment is subjective, and some people may see no changes or side effects at all. Others may experience side effects such as reduced appetite, weight loss, headache, and mood changes.
What Are the Extreme Tiredness Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
Feeling extremely weary all the time, weight gain or difficulty in shedding pounds, dry skin and hair, sadness, and muscle weakness are some of the symptoms of an underperforming thyroid. An underactive thyroid can also lead to increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, and hair loss as well as a compromised immune system.
If you have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid but are feeling no better after starting treatment, it could be that your dosage of Levothyroxine isn’t high enough for your body. This would mean that the medication isn’t suitable for you, and proper adjustments to your dosage should be made.
In some cases, people with thyroid disorders feel better when they begin treatment, but this effect fades after a few weeks or months.
In these instances, Levothyroxine may not be the correct medicine for you, and it should be discontinued in favor of another therapy that works more effectively for your thyroid health.
How Can I Tell if I Am Experiencing Extreme Tiredness as A Side Effect of Levothyroxine?
If you feel exhausted, tired, and exhausted on Levothyroxine, this could be because the medicine isn’t suitable for your body. You may wish to increase the dosage or speak with your doctor about adjusting it.
It may be that you’re feeling more tired than usual because of an increased thyroxine level in your body. If this is the case, it may mean that the dosage isn’t correct for you and needs adjusting to improve your symptoms.
If you feel extremely tired on Levothyroxine, speak with your doctor about why this is occurring and whether or not your dosage needs adjusting. Levothyroxine may be the proper medication for you, and there isn’t a simple way to determine this without speaking with a professional.
Remember that side effects of treatment, including extreme tiredness, usually only occur in the first few weeks after starting Levothyroxine. If you haven’t been on Levothyroxine for a few months and the feeling of extreme tiredness continues, it may be a sign that your dosage needs adjusting or switching to a different medication.
What Causes Tiredness on Levothyroxine?
Extreme tiredness is a commonly reported side effect of Levothyroxine. Many people begin treatment but feel no better after starting medication, which may be because they are experiencing this effect.
You feel more tired while taking Levothyroxine because the hormones in your body have been effectively reduced. Thyroxine is produced by the thyroid and is responsible for activating metabolic processes, energy production, and many other functions in your body.
When you take Levothyroxine, your cells aren’t able to receive signals from thyroxine as much as they once did. This means that the cells in your body are unable to carry out their required functions effectively. Considering this decrease in thyroxine means that your cells are working to total capacity, they get tired and you experience fatigue.
How Long Do I Experience Tiredness?
The tiredness experienced when taking Levothyroxine is generally temporary and should resolve once the dosage has been adjusted. It may be helpful to discuss this side effect of treatment with your doctor if it continues for an extended period after the medication has been started.
It is possible that Levothyroxine isn’t the proper medication for your body if you are feeling exhausted all the time. If you’re unsure, speak with a professional to determine whether or not you should continue taking this medication.
What Can I Do to Treat Extreme Tiredness on Levothyroxine?
If you experience extreme tiredness as a side effect of Levothyroxine, it is unlikely to be permanent. This side effect should only last a few weeks or months before resolving itself once a suitable dosage has been achieved.
To treat your extreme tiredness on Levothyroxine, speak with your doctor about adjusting the dose. If your doctor cannot resolve this side effect of treatment, they may recommend that you switch medications and try a different therapy.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Medication
Remember that Levothyroxine is an effective treatment for hypothyroidism, and it is likely the proper medication for you if extreme tiredness occurs. If this symptom persists, speak with a professional to determine whether or not this is the right medication for you.
By taking the above steps, you will be able to treat your extreme tiredness when taking Levothyroxine and effectively continue treatment. This side effect should resolve itself once a suitable dosage has been reached, which may take some time. It can help to speak with a doctor if you are concerned or feel that this side effect lasts longer than it should.
Why Does Extreme Tiredness Occur for Some People Who Take Levothyroxine?
The prescribed dosage of Levothyroxine will reduce the amount of thyroxine produced by your thyroid. If you are taking this medication for hypothyroidism, the cells in your body won’t be able to receive signals from thyroxine as much as they once did. This means that these cells have a reduced capacity and become tired, leading to extreme tiredness.
Extreme tiredness is a temporary side effect and should only last a few months until your body adjusts to its new medication regime. It can help to speak with a doctor if you continue feeling extremely tired for an extended period after the medication has been started.
Who Should and Shouldn’t Take Levothyroxine?
Adults and children can take levothyroxine. However, specific individuals are not advised to take it. If you are taking levothyroxine, do not go back to your doctor to discuss your treatment if you have any of the following conditions:
- You’ve previously had an adverse response to levothyroxine or other medications.
- You have a hyperactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- You have an imbalance in your adrenal glands (your doctor will be able to tell you if you’re not sure) that is causing you difficulties.
- You have heart disease or angina.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you have any of these conditions, speak with your doctor before taking levothyroxine. They will be able to prescribe an alternative medication if the ones listed above are unsuitable for you.
Other Medicines Should Be Avoided Because of The Following Warnings:
Thyroid hormone activating enzyme can be affected by a variety of medicines. Because of this, your levothyroxine dosage may need to be altered to improve thyroid health. They are as follows:
- Carbamazepine and phenytoin are two medications prescribed to treat fits or seizures.
- Antibiotic like rifampicin
- A calcium channel blocker called amiodarone.
- Estrogenic chemicals that bind to estrogen receptors and mimic or negate the effects of estrogens, i.e., contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), are known as xenoestrogens.
Thyroid hormones, like levothyroxine, will alter the way other medicines operate. Their dosages may need to be changed because the thyroid gland can alter how other medications work.
These drugs include:
- Insulin or oral medicines for diabetes are used to treat high blood sugar.
- The drug warfarin, which inhibits blood clotting and prevents blood from forming clots.
Should You Take Your Medicine at The Same Time Every Day?
You should not take any medication together with levothyroxine because they might reduce the amount of levothyroxine your body absorbs, including:
- calcium salts, iron salts, and antacids are examples of homeopathic substances.
- orlistat, a medicine used for weight loss
- sucralfate, a medicine used to treat stomach ulcers
- Cholesterol-lowering medications such as colestyramine, colestipol, or colesevelam.
Read the information leaflet with these medicines or consult your pharmacist for advice on how long to wait between taking these medicines and taking levothyroxine.
Combining levothyroxine with natural treatments and nutritional supplements
There are also some natural treatments and nutritional supplements that can affect levothyroxine. If you consider taking them with your medication, it is essential to speak with a doctor first.
- St John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum), an herbal remedy used to treat depression
- soybeans, which contain isoflavones, is thought to play a role in managing menopausal symptoms
- red yeast rice, which has monacolin K, an inhibitor of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. This regulates cholesterol production in the body.
- Ginseng (Panax) and garlic supplements
Some nutritional supplements may also interact with levothyroxine, including:
- Vitamin C and zinc supplements can alter the amount of levothyroxine your body absorbs. Zinc supplementation will interfere with absorption, and this is due to how it binds together with bivalent cations such as iron and calcium, reducing their absorption from the intestine.
- Calcium supplements have been shown to reduce the absorption of thyroxine.
- Iron supplements have been shown to reduce the amount of levothyroxine absorbed by your body.
- Coffee has also been shown to interfere with thyroxine absorption due to its effects on gastric pH (acidity) and gastrointestinal motility (movement).
Other Foods that Should Be Avoided to Prevent Any Interactions with Levothyroxine Include:
- soya milk, which contains chemicals called lignans. These can alter the way your body absorbs thyroxine. However, soya products are not thought to have this effect.
- foods containing goitrogens, which reduce the amount of thyroxine that your body absorbs.
It’s essential to speak to a doctor before taking any natural treatments or nutritional supplements alongside levothyroxine which is used to treat your thyroid disease.
If you consider using them, ask about the possibility of interactions and how your doctor can monitor your medication levels more closely.
How Long Should You Be Taking Levothyroxine?
Levothyroxine is typically prescribed for thyroid problems with a starting dose of 12.5 mcg, increasing to 100 mcg after 4 weeks.
For most people with hypothyroidism, a type of thyroid disease or thyroid dysfunction, levothyroxine will be taken for life in order to avoid the consequences of untreated thyroid issues, such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
It is important to discuss the length of treatment for thyroid diseases with your doctor if you are concerned.
Some thyroid patients with hypothyroidism may take levothyroxine for a short time, for example when surgical removal of their thyroid is planned or due to transient thyroiditis that has resolved.
If you are looking into taking medication but would like to know more about the supplements and herbal remedies you’re taking, speak to a pharmacist who will be able to advise on possible interactions.
Other Things You Should Know About Thyroid Medication or Levothyroxine Therapy
Levothyroxine does not affect other medications, including hormonal contraceptives (eg the contraceptive pill).
There has also been no evidence of negative interactions with drugs that are metabolized by hepatic enzymes.
It is essential to continue taking levothyroxine prescribed by your doctor for your thyroid problems even if you think it’s unnecessary, as stopping thyroid meds can lead to serious conditions.
People with low blood pressure may find that levothyroxine makes their condition worse so ask your doctor for advice before changing the amount of medication you take.
Those who have high blood pressure and take antihypertensive medication should be closely monitored by a doctor when taking thyroid meds for their thyroid disease, as the combination of these drugs has been shown to increase blood pressure.
Levothyroxine is a synthetic form of the T4 hormone, which can help to replace any low levels. It works by acting as a replacement for the hormone that your thyroid would produce.
Although it’s possible to take supplements alongside levothyroxine, it’s essential that these are discussed with your doctor first as they may interfere with the amount of medication you absorb or alter its effectiveness.
It’s also important to continue taking levothyroxine even if you think it’s unnecessary, as stopping treatment can lead to complications like serious conditions and heart problems.