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levothyroxine and coffee?

(35 Posts)
k2p2k2tog Tue 13-Feb-18 10:24:48

Have been on levothyroxine for about 6 months, started on 50 mcg and now up to 75 mcg. The GP told me to take it at whichever time of day suited me, and did not mention waiting to eat or drink, so I started taking it first thing in the morning and then making myself a cup of coffee almost striaght away.

Have done a bit of reading and there are a lot of people saying you should leave at least an hour between taking your meds and eating/drinking anything except water. I really need my coffee in the morning so am thinking about taking my meds at bedtime instead.

When is everyone else taking theirs?

Sugarhunnyicedtea Tue 13-Feb-18 10:27:40

I take mine first thing in the morning (or when I remember!) with a cup of tea. I've never been told any different and my gp knows this is what I do.

Wetwashing00 Tue 13-Feb-18 10:29:45

I used to take my meds at bedtime too but I found I had real trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.

I’m currently doing the same as you, although I have water and meds next to my bed and I take mine the minute I open my eyes (even if I’m not getting up) or if I wake up early in the morning for the loo.
So at most I have my coffee between 20-30 mins after taking my tablet. I don’t drink dairy, but I think it was the caffeine that affected the Levothyroxine (I can’t remember) so maybe switch to decaf for the 1st cup of coffee?

Violetrose123 Tue 13-Feb-18 19:45:42

When I picked up my first prescription, the pharmacist told me to only take it with water and have no caffeine, juice, food or other tablets for a minimum of 30 minutes afterwards. I’m glad I asked as otherwise I’d be taking it with breakfast.

I take mine as soon as I wake up with a big glass of water, then by the time I actually get out of bed the half hour has usually always passed. Could that work for you, if you’re not a wake up and get up straight away kind of person....?

Violetrose123 Tue 13-Feb-18 19:47:00

Also like wetwashing, if I happen to wake up super early for no reason, I will take it then and go back to sleep

timeistight Thu 15-Feb-18 13:20:26

I always used to take mine at bedtime, with a herbal tea (no milk). That worked nicely for me.

The Patient Information Leaflet says " Swallow the
tablets with plenty of water. You should usually take your
tablets before breakfast or your first meal of the day."

Littlepond Thu 15-Feb-18 13:23:47

The sticker on mine says to take in the morning and to not have caffeine, food or other meds for 30 mins after. That's what pharmacist told me when I first got them.

Justmethenhuh Thu 15-Feb-18 13:27:42

It’s very clear. Very clear.

Do not take within at the least half an hour of consuming caffeine.

Read even on nhs website.

I wake up and immediately reach for mine.
By time I’ve got up, been to bathroom, unloaded dishwasher and 3x a week been for a run, an hour or so is up and I’m making my coffee.

raisinsraisins Thu 15-Feb-18 13:28:27

I had no idea about this!. I take 150 mcg in the morning with water and have a large mug of tea straight after. Does this mean they have not been working as well as they could?

Hithere1981 Thu 15-Feb-18 13:55:05


Most likely, yes

Sugarhunnyicedtea Thu 15-Feb-18 15:33:14

Raisinsraisins I've never been told that either, not even by the consultant I have to see every 3 months. When I was in hospital being assessed (family history of thyroid issues that don't respond to medication) they gave me my thyroxine with breakfast and tea.

Blinkyblink Thu 15-Feb-18 15:50:07


Go on nhs website
Failing that, actually research the drug. Read what the manufacturer says. Read the pamphlet that comes with the meds.

All unanimous that caffeine and food to be avoided at same time.

I always find it a bit passive “I wasn’t told”. Own your condition and research.

LaLaLolly Thu 15-Feb-18 15:51:56

Latest reputable studies show Thyroxine is actually optimally ingested at night, before bed.

Apologies I can't link at the moment but Google it.

Solves all problems of food/drink interaction

LaLaLolly Thu 15-Feb-18 15:53:22

Forgot to add:

Purely anecdotal, but in my experience there was a marked difference in my energy levels and hair loss when I started taking it at night.

minipie Thu 15-Feb-18 15:56:57

I have mine after dinner with peppermint tea. Don't know if that's good or not but it's when I have time!

ladymildred Thu 15-Feb-18 15:57:19

I had been taking it in evening with food for years then when my levels rocketed during pregnancy I was told time of day and without food can make the difference. So I now take it 30 mins before food in the morning. My levels immediately went back to normal (from 33 to 0.2!). I was never told this originally though!

k2p2k2tog Thu 15-Feb-18 16:01:25

Blinky - I'm not being passive. This thyroid thing is all very new to me, They're still trying to stabilise my levels and work out the right dose for me.

When the GP prescribed it first I asked about when to take it, what to do if I miss a dose etc and her exact words were "whatever suits you." She did not say it had to be on an empty stomach and didn't mention caffeine at all.

Anyway, I took my thyroxine last night before bed and slept fine. Will carry on for a couple of weeks and see how I feel.

Bekabeech Thu 15-Feb-18 16:21:11

I read you shouldn't eat for at least 2 hours before and at least 1/2 an hour after.
There is research that evening might work better for some, but mine is okay in the morning so I haven't experimented.

OP you are still on quite a low dose and it can take a couple of years to be stable.
You also have to avoid taking it with Iron pills - which at times makes it complicated for me.

k2p2k2tog Fri 16-Feb-18 07:57:05

Have also just re-read the leaflet inside the packet of tablets and caffeine isn't mentioned at all.

All it says is to take your thyroxine before the first meal of the day with some water. Lots about interactions with all sorts of other medication but nothing about tea/coffee/caffeinated drinks.

The NHS website doesn't mention caffeine either: It says :

"The effectiveness of the tablets can be altered by other medications, supplements or foods, so they should be swallowed with water on an empty stomach, and you should avoid eating for 30 minutes afterwards".

Eating. Not avoid drinking a cup of coffee or tea. So Blinky's assertion that the "avoid caffeine" link is very widely publicised is just not true.

Hithere1981 Fri 16-Feb-18 10:29:31


Hithere1981 Fri 16-Feb-18 10:30:21

Nhs website
How and when to take it
Take levothyroxine once a day in the morning, ideally at least 30 minutes before having breakfast or a drink containing caffeine like tea or coffee.

Hithere1981 Fri 16-Feb-18 10:35:16

Not sure how you missed that!

fleurdelacourt Tue 20-Feb-18 09:59:03

been taking it for 25 years - after breakfast and a huge coffee - with no problems.

Idontdowindows Sat 24-Feb-18 17:38:10

My endo prof said:

"It doesn't matter, as long as you do it exactly the same every day. Yes, if you take it with food you'll need more, as it won't be absorbed as efficiently with food as on an empty stomach, but you'll be taking it for the rest of your life, so much more important is same time, same conditions every day without fail and I've found my patients are much more likely to be compliant if they can take it in a comfortable situation of their choosing."

Jaygee61 Tue 27-Feb-18 15:32:56

I leave four hours between taking my meds (75mcg) and drinking coffee. I take them around 6.30 am and until recently was in the habit of maki g myself a cup of coffee when I got to work a couple of hours later. Now I have tea instead and dont’t have my first coffee of the day until 10.30. I think it has made a difference. I feel better. I’m trying to lose weight and I think it is coming off a bit quicker too.

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