Can i take Levothyroxine a few hours earlier?

I normally take my Levothyroxine 50 mcg at 8 am on an empty stomach and then leave it till 9 am at least before i eat or have a i hear its better to take it that way.I have to drive over a long distance in a few days and plan on leaving at 6 am,would it be ok to take my Levothyroxine say at 5am and have a coffee around 6 just before i leave or should i leave at 6,empty stomach,drive for 2 hours cafeine starved,take my Levothyroxine while still cafeine starved and stop for coffee an hour or 2 later?

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22 Replies

  • Coffee is a very important part of our day in this house. That first cup is like nectar!

    I think it's just too complicated to do anything other than your usual routine and I think it's absolutely fine to just bring your timetable forward as you suggest and take your levo at 5.00 a.m. Could you possibly take the previous day's dose a little earlier too, but not necessarily 5.00 a.m. Your other suggestion is way too complicated and may well be unworkable depending on traffic, availability of service areas etc.

    Jane x

  • My alarm goes off at six but I am usually awake from about five so I just take mine when I wake, most days it is probably about half past five.

    Every now and again I fall asleep then wake up and realise I haven't taken my pills so I tend to take them then wait for an hour and have breakfast. I have been known to take the pills and take my grapefruit and wholemeal toast plus a flask of coffee (I drink de-caff though - sad I know) and sit in the car looking at my watch until the hour is up and then I tuck in while my other half drives.

    I think you would be ok having the levo early. See what the others think.

    Liz :-)

  • Hello all. Does it really matter that its taken almost exactly same time each day? I mostly take at 4.30am then go back to sleep till around 8 am.occasionally don't take till 7am,then don't eat/drink for hour or so.just wondered if varying time makes any difference? Thanks

  • I don't really think that it does, but I'm not an expert. Since I started on levo I have taken it any time between 4.00 am and 8.00am but generally about 5.30am then leave it at least an hour before eating or drinking anything other than water. I have tried it at night too but I felt better taking it in the morning even though evening was more convenient for me.


  • thanks for your help Liz,I havent really noticed any change when I take it late on occasion so will stick with that. thanks

  • Your levels of t4 go up/down very slowly, so it should make no difference at all. Whenever I have a blood test and skip my dose the night before I have to rejig my whole schedule and as far as I'm aware it makes no difference, whereas if I don't eat when I'm hungry I notice a huge difference, so I feel the timing of coffee/food should take precedence. :-)

  • Hey Liz, decaff's not sad! If I drank regular coffee like I used to, I'd be bouncing on the ceiling. :-D Last time I inadvertantly had some I was talking non-stop as if I was on speed (although I've never been on speed), and felt very hyped up - not a nice feeling at all. As they say 'We're all different'. Whatever suits you.

  • Aw thanks for that :-) I used to drink real coffee and I love it but after a while I realised I wasn't sleeping and that was what was doing it. When I was first diagnosed and again when I needed an increase in my levo I got the feeling like I had overdosed on caffeine. It isn't nice.

  • Yep, no kidding. If I had a pound for everything I used to be able to eat or drink but can't now, as they say 'I'd be a millionaire'. I love real coffee too but have to make do with just sniffing it now - and I don't mean putting it up my nose, just, well, sniffing that's sad.

  • I dare anyone to drink a cup of Lavazza decaf and be able to tell the difference. :-)

  • My question has been hijacked lol.

  • Maybe a little bit but certainly not intentionally - we're right there with you Henry - anyway, have you decided when you are going to take your levo? :-)

  • Not a problem LizH and anyone else,i am only teasing.I am going to live dangerously and take my Levo and coffee before i leave out.

  • :-)

  • Sorry Henry, I didn't think, I just wanted to tell Liz that decaff wasn't sad :-) and it just sort of took off. I agree with the first reply you had from Jane, that seems to make a lot of sense. I think you would be better off taking it early and forgetting about it than the other option which would mean you would be driving and clock watching (while caffeine-staved!). I don't think an hour or two early would make any difference. As Liz says, we're right with you. Good luck.

  • You see, I don't know what the big deal is about taking it on an empty stomach!!! My endo never advised me to do that! I get up whenever, take my lansaprazole, have a cuppa, then and hour later have my breakfast and coffee then gulp my pills all in one go. I do know that grapefruit can undermine a lot of meds tho!! Sorry if I go against the grain. But I think it's more stressful trying to fit your life round your meds, fit your meds in with your life else you will make yourself crazy.... It's a hard lesson to change like that but I'm speaking from experience.. When I didn't my way all fell into place. I don't mean to undermine anything that anyone else does. So please don't take it as a critism... Xxxx

  • I have been taking thyroid meds for 21 years. It has never made an ounce of difference when I took them and in fact some days I have missed them altogether. The only thing that has made any difference at all is that recently I have been taking them at night. They have been absorbed better and this is reflective in my blood test results. I only recently found out that you were meant to take them away from food but I was never given that information and as I said before it never seemed to make any difference. Perhaps the perceived difference is what makes some people think it matters. If you dwell on these things too much it can become all consuming.

  • I know two people who were both given levo after being picked as a result ofroutine blood tests, neither had symptoms of thyroid problems and neither of them was ever told not to take their levo on an empty stomach and so both took (and still do as far as I know) their levo with their breakfast.

    I have been told by GP, pharmacist and the three different endo's I have seen since February to take it with water and wait before I eat, and yes, it can be all consuming :-)

  • I have been taking levothyroxine for 15 years and was never told to take it away from food so I have always taken it after my breakfast. I did read once that you should take it first thing in the morning and wait 1 hour before eating. That is just impractical!

    How long do others wait before eating or do you take it inbetween meals?


  • I take mine at night at least two hours away from food. I used to set the alarm two hours early and take it then (just to leave myself enough time to go back to sleep), but I find taking it at night agrees with me.

    It alarms me that so many people here aren't told to take levo away from food.

  • Levo can also be knocked out by Calcium and Iron supplements, if taken together with it.

    A lot of foods have Calcium in, esp. Breakfast! & it would depend on how much taken and individual reactions,also.

    [Larger doses would presumably be less jeopardised.]

  • The rules are: no food +- 30 minutes. No calcium +- 4 hours. Try to take it at the same time each day but if you are off one day? OK. This info Marion should either be printed on the bottle, printed in the information that comes with it, or is available my looking online or using an app like Mango Health. Http://

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