Just a few things I'm not sure of

Hi there

I've got a few things I'm still not sure about:

I've been taking L-thyroxine for just over 1 week and over the weekend just gone my eyes didn't look as puffy. I get up today and they have massive bags underneath - could this be from the way I've been sleeping or has my body accepted the tablets and the puffiness has come back because it needs more of the L-thyroxine? I take the medication first thing in the morning the same time every day and on an empty stomach, so I'm not sure if anything's happening as of yet.

My GP has sent off my application for a medical excemption card for free thyroid medications. He did this for me on the 31st May and according to the NHS my application should have gone through within 10 working days. Has anyone else got a medical excemption card and how long did it take you to receive yours? I thought it'd be fair to assume that seeing as it's medical and the medication I take is lifelong it isn't the sort of thing that they should put off processing and sending out.

How long does L-thyroxine take to make any significant difference? I know that I've already mentioned as above my eyes don't look as puffy although they do today, and I suppose that different doses of l-thyroxine work with people with varying degrees of hypo, but I've been tracking my BBT over the past week and it's still pretty low. I do it first thing in the morning and it's been like 35.2, 36.1, 36.0, back down to 35.2 and up again at 36.1! :o

Thanks for any help xx

9 Replies

  • What can happen when you first start taking levothyroxine is that any thyroid function you did still have can decline so sometimes, especially when you are only on a small starter dose of medication, you can end up worse than when you were on no medication at all.

    Your thyroid will have been struggling for months, sometimes years, to keep up with the demand and when you start taking your substitute T4 it will say "thank god for that I haven't got to work so hard" and will slow down so whatever little T4 is was producing may decrease and your small dose of synthetic T4 wont be enough to cover what your thyroid was actually producing - hence you can sometimes feel just as bad or sometimes worse.

    This wont last long and you'll feel better when your GP increases your meds again. It can take months for you to get to your correct level of Levothyroxine but some people notice a big difference with just a few increases. Its early days yet so you will need to be patient.

    I don't know how long my exemption card took to come through but I think it was about a month.

    Moggie x

  • Hi Moggie thanks for your response.

    It's daft how a medical exemption card can take so long to come through if it took about a month! I thought it'd be the sort of thing the NHS wouldn't hang about to process.

    I know the GP told me it would be a boring long wait but my partner thinks that the Levothyroxine should have done something by now. He hasn't really looked into my Hashimoto's and thinks it's more instantaneous than it's made out to be.

    Thanks xx

  • Show your partner my answer to your question and he will then understand that its a lot more complicated and lengthy than he is hoping for.

    Moggie x

  • Hi Moggie

    Had my TT a year ago and it does take a while to feel better about 3months I am still trying to get my levo right it seems my T3 is low.When I had my op the pharmacist told me I didn't t need to pay for prescriptions because I was on medication for life.I didn't have to fill in any forms just tick the box on the back of the precription.

    Hope this helps

    Piedo x

  • I had to fill in a form, but I can't remember how long it took I'm afraid - but think it was at least a couple of weeks. A credit card exemption certificate arrived in the post, which I carry around in my wallet. Sometimes the pharmacist will ask to see the certificate when I tick the box on the back of the prescription. The exemption is actually for ALL meds, not just thyroid ones :) xx

  • Not only that, but if you have to get any prescriptions between now and arrival of the Medex card:

    Q. I need some prescriptions now but I do not have a certificate. Do I have to wait until it arrives?

    A. Your certificate will start from the date one month before the date we get you application. You can claim a refund of any charges paid form that date, however, you must ask you pharmacist for an official NHS receipt for any charges you pay. It is called form FP57.


    An ordinary till receipt is not acceptable.


  • Hi Rod thanks for your response and the link - that actually saves me googling it as it's separate from the NHS website!

    The pharmacy filled out an FP57 form for me and told me to keep hold of it until the Medex card comes through.

    Thanks for your help. xx

  • The basic info. is on the main NHS site - but that too has links to the site I posted above!



  • Hi Clarebear thanks for your response.

    I didn't know it was for all meds and not thyroid ones - that's handy to know as I'm currently out of work and I have to admit I begrudged paying over £20 with my redundancy money! I can claim the money back once I have the card and that was my main worry - that by the time I had my exemption card came through I wouldn't be able to claim back the money I already spent on the prescriptions.

    Thanks xx

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