Can missing a few days of Levothyroxine tablets bring on severe headaches/migraine?

I have fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism. And been having a flare up for over a week now. Now I have severe headaches/migraine and it is worse when I put my glasses on.

While I have been ill, I have probably missed about five days of Levothyroxine and wondered if that could be cause of headache?

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25 Replies

  • Missing even two days of levo can bring on many symptoms and one of them could be headaches. I was recently left undermedicated for over a week and my migrains were back with a vengence.

    I know you said you have been ill recently but why would that contribute to you missing almost a week of thyroid medication? You could be causing yourself all sorts of problems by missing so much medication.

    Moggie x

  • mainly because i have had really bad fatigue and no energy and been sleeping all the time and forgetting to take. didnt think it was such a major problem to be honest

  • A simple solution would be to set an alarm clock specifically to take your thyroid meds, have them ready and waiting by your bed and then you only have to swallow then with a little water and go straight back to sleep - missing so much medication could also be why you are so tired and are lacking energy.

    Moggie x

  • it isnt that simple because i have a problem with tablets so i have to take them with cheese spread so i can swallow them. would i be ok to take them in the evening?

  • You should not be taking your thyroid medication with ANY food or drink except water as this will stop it working to its full potential and this could well be why you are still feeling so ill with tiredness and lack of energy.

    You really do need to find a way to take your thyroid meds on their own and definately not with food of any sort.

    Moggie x

  • my gp suggested I take it this way as it is the only way I can take it and he stopped prescribing the liquid because it is too expensive apparently

  • To put it bluntly - your GP is not acting in your best interest (and that's putting it mildly). Anyone who knows anything about thyroid illness and levothyroxine would never suggest taking it with food, especially cheese spread as it contains calcium, another big no, no to take anywhere near your thyroid medication, and all this because he/she wants to save money. No wonder you are still feeling so ill. Levothyroxine must be kept, at least, two hours away from all food and drink, except water to alow the body to absorb it into its system. Taking it with food or drink can and will stop this from happening.

    Could you please explain why you cannot take tablets on their own without the aid of cheese spread.

    Moggie x

  • Moggie,

    Your language about the GP is amazingly moderate.

    The Patient Information Leaflets for two of the levothyroxine products licensed in the UK say as follows:


    Acquired hypothyroidism in children:

    Initially 12.5 to 50 micrograms a day. The dose should be increased gradually every 2 to 4 weeks depending on response to treatment. If required the tablets can be dissolved in 10 to 15ml of drinkable water and given freshly prepared with some more liquid (5 to 10ml).


    If required the tablets can be dissolved in 10 to 15ml of drinkable water and given freshly prepared with some more liquid (5 to 10ml).

    Patient Information Leaflets (PIL) and Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) documents for many, many medicines available here:

    If someone cannot swallow whole tablets then either crunch them between your teeth and swallow (best with some water) or dissolve as described above.

    A typical cheese spread like Laughing Cow contains:

    Skimmed milk, cheeses, butter, milk proteins, emulsifying salts: sodium polyphosphates, citrates, diphosphates and phosphates, salt.

    I would not wish to comment on any possible interaction between any of those ingredients and levothyroxine beyond what Moggie has already posted. Far, far too many surprising substances do affect absorption.

    The above represents one possible alternative avenue to be explored if a) proper liquid levothyroxine has been refused; b) there is an issue with swallowing tablets.


  • If I had said what I really thought of fibrosandie's GP I think another admin might have jumped in and done some heavy

    Moggie x

  • Replying as one who has been 100% dependent on thyroid meds for 15 years (no thyroid), If you take your pill every single day with the same small amount of food you will be okay. Eventually your body will adapt to it and her dosage will be based on that practice. Just be sure if you change how you take it, you should talk to your doctor about getting retested.

    If you're taking just a small amount of spread with your pill I really doubt there's enough calcium in it to really matter. Just remember, same time/same way/everyday.

  • I think it depends, too, on the dosage fibrosandie's on. I am on a 75 MCGs dose for my Hashimoto's and I take my tiny pill in the morning only 30 minutes before I eat, per the directions on the bottle and my doc. It also says not to have calcium or iron within 4 hours. I don't pay much attention to that and have had normal/healthy blood panels since I've been taking this dose over the last year. I don't doubt that headaches could be related to the missed Levothyroxine though, as I've missed a few days in a row before, waiting for a refill to process, and felt groggy and had headaches, even with my low dose. Hydrating well seems to help in those instances. Good luck.

  • I cannot swallow tablets due to something that happened when I was a child.

    I used to take it wiyh chocolate mousse.

    It has go be with food. Even if a very small amount.

  • Hi fibrosandy, sounds like you must see gp and insist,in a nice way,at least at first, that he gets back to prescribing the liquid form PDQ! Seems staggering that he would suggest taking it with any kind of food particularly calcium packed food.As he is aware you have issues with swelling meds what on earth is he thinking!

  • Oops- I meant. Problems with swallowing!

  • We know what you

    Moggie x

  • If your GP wont allow you to go back to the liquid thyroxin then I would think about crushing them up and taking it like that, anything is better than taking it with food.

    You might want to ask for a referral to an endocrinologist who should understand your problems a lot better than your GP obviously does. I still cant quite believe that your GP suggested taking your meds in this way - what a irresponsible thing to do.

    Moggie x

  • Please take Rod's advise and start dissolving it in water (I didn't know that you could do that Rod - and neither did fibrosandie's GP, obviously) and if you start keeping your meds well away from food as well I'll be very suprised if you dont start noticing a positive result within a week or so.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    Moggie x

  • It has cropped up a couple or so times here. Despite being in the PILs, I suspect most of us read straight past it.

    I would usually have associated it with babies and very young children but someone else had a swallowing issue.


  • Can the same be done with t3. Everyone l swallow sticks at the back of my throat and just about makes me sick. I used to dissolve them in my mouth but was told that it was bad for the heart.

    Jo xx

  • Read the Patient Information Leaflet.

    Mercury Pharma Liothyronine PIL says that they can be crushed "for children and elderly patients".

    PILs for many UK products available here:

    If the product is NOT Mercury Pharma's, refer to the appropriate product information.


  • Why dont you let the tablet dissolve under your tongue if you struggle swallowing them, it is ridiculous that a doctor wont prescribe liquid levo to someone that struggles to swallow tablets and disgusting that they dont even know you cant take them with food. i agree with moggie chances are your severe headaches are due to forgetting your levo.

  • I have a blood test for thyroid next week so will be seeing him soon after the results so will dealt with it then and let you know what happens

    thank you for your comments

    sandie xx

  • Don't take any meds on the day you're having blood taken until AFTER the draw as it will skew the results.

    Your GP sounds like a total plank putting cost before your wellbeing and giving such poor advice re taking T4 :)

  • missing your levo will make you dead if you have had tt dont do it no excuses

  • I know how you feel about not taking your meds. As for my levo, I do pretty well, because its one time a day, I love that I'm not supposed to eat with it, because I rarely eat, especially by myself.

    Anyways, a short time ago, I was in I guess deep depression. No energy to clean my place at all and no help from kids. Then BOOM!!! Just say issues with my kids came up and I was so upset and mad with everything, I wasn't taking my medicine regularly.

    I have depression, anxiety, bi polar with borderline personality disorder. I have been off all those meds for about 3 years I'm guessing, due to not being able to afford them. I'm tired of being told what I need to do, when, I'm doing the best that I can and with what I've got.

    Anyways, I'm seeing an endocrinologist who specializes in thyroid, diabetes and one other thing I can't think of.

    I wasn't told anything about the alternate ways of taking my levo, but it should be taken as close to the same time as possible every day and I was told nothing to eat or drink other than water for at least an hour after words.

    I was looking up to see if muscle weakness or whatever might be the cause of me not taking my meds regularly for a week or so myself.

    Also, I was told by my endocrinologist, if I miss a dose, to take it as soon as I can, that its better than nothing. I guess it stays in your system for long periods of time? I agree with others, see an endocrinologist and I too, no longer have a thyroid. I had to have mine fully removed.

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