How To Take Your Thyroid Medication

Japanese woman pouring medicine into hand
JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images

If you want to make sure that you are taking your thyroid medication properly, here are some guidelines to help.

Difficulty: N/A

Time Required: 5

Here's How:

  1. Always check the prescription against what you receive. Don't allow generic substitutions.
  2. Most doctors feel that taking thyroid hormone on an empty stomach allows for maximum absorption.
  3. Many practitioners advise that you allow at least one hour before eating, because it allows for maximum absorption.
  1. Be consistent about a high-fiber diet. If you start or stop eating high-fiber, get your thyroid rechecked, because it may change your absorption.
  2. Many experts recommend you take vitamins or supplements with iron at least two to three hours apart from thyroid hormone. Iron can interfere with thyroid hormone absorption if taken too close together.
  3. Be careful about taking calcium and calcium-fortified orange juice at the same time as thyroid hormone. Allow at least 2-3 hours apart, so absorption is not affected.
  4. Don't take antacids within two hours of thyroid hormone. Allow at least 2-3 hours apart, so absorption is not affected.
  5. Watch for interactions with antidepressants & thyroid hormone. Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac can make thyroid meds more or less effective. Talk to your doctor.
  6. Don't stop taking thyroid hormone when you're pregnant or breastfeeding. It's necessary for you and your baby's health. Talk to your doctor about adjusting to the right dosage.


    1. Always talk to your doctor about your medications, dosages, and what your doctor recommends for your particular situation.

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